When representing your business on the web via your blog or other social media outlets here are a few guidelines. These are going to be hard to hear.
1. DO NOT revel your political positions on the politics or current events. YIKES did that hurt.
While your political position is an important aspect of who you are you don't want to offend any potential customers. Today's handmade business owners find themselves celebrating great success all over the US and beyond. (I have sold products to customers in London, Canada, Australia, and Malaysia.) I gaurentee they would not purchased from me if I expressed my political beliefs, or maybe they would. Either way it is important not say.
On your business blog try not to follow any political websites publicly. Unless your business caters to a particular population. For example if your Etsy shop sells Religious Catholic merchandise, I can understand following a relgious cathloic organization or blog publiclly........ BUT if you sell jewelry and you follow an atheists site and it is branded all over your blog.... Expect to drive customers away rather than draw them in.
On facebook and twitter be sure not to make your daily posts about What the hell "politician"was thinking on press conference even if it seems to be a popular opinion. Your business facebook page and twitter account is a platform to post your business information and not a place for polictical debate. DO post thoughts and prayers for Earthquake and national disaster victims. Even go as far as to maybe letting folks know that a portion of your proceeds (to the red cross) are going to help such disasters. (make sure it is going to happen, what an awful thing if no donation is made) If I see an artist I like I may go ahead and make a purchase for a charity.
If you sell green or eco products. Make sure you are not posting about something you did that wasn't environmentally friendly.
I personally don't follow sites or purchase from shops who are constantly posting their political opinions. Whether I agree or not.
2. AVOID making comments on blogs, facebook posts, twitter posts, and emails about your a customer or person getting on your nerves. It is a matter to be kept private, or in a feedback comment. Even if the other person is participating in cyber bulling keep your composure. If you participate in back and forth banter you will be the one looking like a fool in the end and your business with suffer. If you are a mom, your kids are watching how you are handling things. Are you taking your own advice about cyber bulling? Of course if you keep it all business, and less personal you will not have any problems. Unless someone is jealous because you are so awesome they want your success, so take any attacks as a pat on the back for your great success.
As proud as you may be of your city and region. Don't put down a particular city or region. ****On a side note. I am from Texas. I take all Ani TEXAS comments personally YALL***
At the same time I love to hear about things going on in other parts of the country and beyond. I am so jealous when I see your snow photos. It is perfectly acceptable to share your regions culture. EVEN more so if it helps sell your products.
Do not hit any other hot buttons with respect to social media. This includes off-color comments, bad language, raunchy jokes etc. That is content not to post. What may seem like an innocent post on social media could shed a bad light on us if what we are posting is any way offensive to someone else who might read it. Remember, if you are using social media for business, the idea is to attract others not send them running for the hills. Do not post something you don't want the whole wide world to see forever. That may sound silly but as human beings we sometimes run on emotions. What we post can stay there for all prosperity. If you aren't sure you will feel the same way tomorrow, it's better not to post it. Take a deep breath, sit on your fingers or hide your computer keyboard if you have to. Anything that could be viewed as unflattering or negative is best left off your social media outlets.
3. DO NOT solely blast out sales messages by social media. If that is all you ever do, you are missing the boat. Social media is also about attraction and engagement. No one likes to be sold all the time. This is a fact that is true in both business and life. There are many other ways to add value to your social media content that work to attract more people instead of repel them and we will cover some here. Do not become a spammer. If it is spam, feels like spam or even has a hint of spam, it's best not to post it. Spam is spam no matter how you slice it and no one likes that diet. One general rule to use is that if you would not want to receive it or would consider it spam, do not send it.
DO talk about yourself and what makes what you have to offer special. You are special. TALK ABOUT Some beautiful fabric you saw at..... Share a product you found while web surfing....Share a great idea for your home or business..... BE a customer purchase something from another handmade business and give a comment......Talk about your kids winning a spelling bee or getting all A's...There are several things you can do to make things not so cold but professional at the same time. It depends on your business.
I personally have a weakness of awful grammar and tons of misspellings. It is something I really try hard to work on. I hope that I don't loose any potential customers because they feel I am not competent enouph to be their designer if I can misspell a simple word. I know that I am constantly working on improving. We all have our weakness. Sometimes my store name Vampire Craftin draws folks away. BUT I do love vampires, my last name is BITENC (biteneck) and I am always asked to REVAMP logos. No need to make it worse by not following the guidelines above.
If you need any more help or advice you can always ask my friend on Sammi www.frecklelips.com She has a talent for launching business in to the next level.
What do you think? Did I miss anything?