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August 18, 2013

Being Personable While Staying Professional

Personality is a huge aspect of running a small business. You are part of the reason people want to support small businesses, not just because you offer a great product or service but because of the person behind the brand. Adding your personality into your products, marketing and social media will help you stand out, however you need to be sure you're still coming across as professional.

Facebook is a great place to keep your customers informed and up to date. But we have to remember that it's still an extension of our business and it should be treated as such. Often friends and family are the first to start following your Facebook page and it's easy to forget that we've gained followers outside of our social circle and there are many more that may stumble upon your pages on a daily basis. Of course you have to tailor your posting and writing style to your brand and what you're selling but there are some key things to keep in mind.

Would you want to hear it if you were a customer?

Think about a big brand you follow on social media. What would you think if you saw a post on their Facebook page, similar to what you're about to write? Would it fit with their marketing or seem completely out of place and leave you scratching your head? Model yourself after a business or brand you admire and think "What would they do?" before you post any questionable content. Big or small, you never want to make your audience feel uncomfortable or wonder if someone hacked your account.

Is it professional?

Personal stories may fit with your brand but you never want to use social media to vent. Whether it's a difficult situation in your personal life or business, don't air your dirty laundry. Sure it might make you feel better to have a bunch of people like a status about difficult customers but it will make others question what you might be saying about them, or worse yet, think that post is about them.

Is it necessary?

Don't just post for the sake of posting. You want to continually have a presence on Facebook but if you can't find anything worth posting about, it's better to to leave it blank for the day. Too much posting or unrelated content may encourage your fans to hit the "unlike" button.

Is it positive?

Not everything has to be sunshine and lollipops all of the time but nobody wants to continuously hear about the negative. If it's something you really want to share because you think others will benefit from it, try to add a positive spin, include what you learned or have a solution to offer others in a similar situation.

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