Social Media Engagement Etiquette Part IV: Tell the Truth

Oct 03, 2012
Nicole Arnold

This is the fourth installment in the blog series, Mind Your Manners ~ Simple Rules for Social Media Engagement Etiquette.

It isn’t tough to drum up the stereotypical image of a smarmy, sketchy salesman. As consumers, we’re conditioned to beware of dishonest snake oil sellers, who would prey upon our trust and swindle us out of hard earned cash. As an entrepreneur, however, it’s likely you’ve got something to sell, and being branded as sneaky and dishonest won’t do much for your bottom line. Fortunately, this is a reputation that is easily avoided by following the fourth simple rule of social media engagement etiquette. My book, The Little Cottage Services Definitive Guide to Becoming Irresistible, covers what is quite possibly the simplest of all these rules, and that is, tell the truth. 

By now you have probably figured out, clients are more likely to initiate and repeat business with providers they know, like and trust. Social media engagement is your opportunity to become trustworthy and reliable to this captive audience. But, social media is also transparent, and your fans or prospective clients will know if you are full of it. As you build your online presence and conduct social media engagement, honesty and integrity should become components of your brand. When posting information about your products and services, be clear, be honest and never inflate your abilities. With the right marketing strategy and your own dedication, you won’t have to exaggerate.

The next step in winning trust is proving your reliability. When you make a commitment, stick to it. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Failure to deliver will not only make you appear unreliable, it will also stress you out and chip away at your confidence. Finally, never keep secrets or behave in a duplicitous manner. If you are providing information you found through another source or posting an affiliate link, make this clear to your audience. Leveling with your clients and making your motivations known will help them relate to you. They will view you as a trusted partner if they understand where you’re coming from. Fail to recognize your clients’ intellect and they will sense it.

Ultimately, being an honest, forthright social media marketer shouldn’t be a complicated undertaking. You are a consumer too, so think about how you like to be marketed to. Like most people, you expect honesty, consistency, candor and reliability. Remember this when you communicate to your own clients and offer them the same respect. Consumer awareness has evolved markedly since the days of the hustling snake oil peddler. Meet your clients’ need for honesty in marketing and they will call you a partner, not a salesperson.

This post was originally written by Nicole Arnold at Little Cottage Services, LLC

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