Think Before You Tweet

Social media is obviously all the rage right now. It’s almost accepted that you MUST have, at the very least, a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account for your firm. Many are on even more social networks such as Google+, Pinterest, tumblr, Four Square and the list goes on.

It may very well be true that a social presence is necessary in today’s marketplace, but before you start tweeting and sharing, if you haven’t already, consider a few things:

  1. Once you start, you can’t stop. Social media demands a steady flow of content, updates and interaction. Do you have a plan and the resources to do this? You don’t want to start a Facebook page and then leave it dormant for months. It looks worse than not having one at all.
  2. What You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You. Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t fully understand the permanence of social media. Once you put it out there, it’s not going away. Be sure when you tweet or post, or one of your employees does, that it’s something you’re proud of and want everyone to see.
  3. You Should Have a Response Plan. Once you’re active on social media, you’re likely to get some feedback, and some of it is not going to be very positive. It’s just a fact of the medium, that people go there to vent and they can be nasty. Be prepared to respond in a professional and appropriate manner.

Social media means a lot of possibilities for reaching a new audience and marketing your firm for free. However, there are unintended consequences and additional responsibilities in managing it. Give these factors careful thought as you delve into this realm.  

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Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought-leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, President of SurePayroll, writes the Trade Secrets column on INC.com and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

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