How to avoid Santa’s social media naughty list this festive season

Santa's naughty listThe calendar has flipped over to December and it seems the silly season is in full swing. But before you start kissing random colleagues under the mistletoe, here is how to avoid Santas naughty list – when it comes to social media in the lead up to Christmas.

Now before you ask – “what would an accountant know about social media?”. Let me tell you this – sure I am not in the business of social media and I don’t claim to be, however social media plays a huge role in my business – every single day (and if I was truthful – several times a day!).

Social media forms part of my marketing strategy, part of my communications strategy, it is a way current and potential clients can contact us, it is a platform for my blogging – just to name a few reasons why my phone (or some kind of technical gadget), is never far from sight.

“But it can all go horribly wrong in an instant over the Christmas and holiday season. Your guard is down and what you may deem appropriate, others may not. You don’t want to go viral for all the wrong reasons.”

So how do you avoid the social media naughty list? Here are my top tips for other small business owners:

  1. Don’t drink and text. Ok so hardly illegal to drink whilst at a work function and text – but doing those two tasks in tandem can cause huge headaches – and these are the headaches that panadol just won’t fix. Imagine finding out the raunchy text that was meant for your husband/wife/partner – was sent to your boss or colleague by accident. Mortified and embarrassed won’t even begin to describe how you will feel. Texting and booze just don’t mix.
  2. Beware the selfie. So as Christmas parties are in full swing, remember how easy it is for others to take snaps of you and upload to social media immediately – without your knowledge. Drunken images and actions can come back to haunt you once an image is captured. Even if it is not posted on your business page, if your personal profile is linked to your business page and you are tagged in photos – it can still reflect badly on your business and the reputation you have spent so long building up to your impeccable high standards.
  3. Warped sense of humour. At this time of year, pay extra special attention to the fact that not everyone will “get” nor “appreciate” your warped sense of humour (trust me – my accounting humour is often only appreciated by me and my staff!). Sometimes things appear funny, until you splash it around on social media and get thousands of separate personalities giving you their individual feedback. Often the post was an innocent joke, however always put yourself in the hands of your clients and customers and ask yourself – would they find this funny – before posting the joke/meme.
  4. Politics and religion – tread with care. I certainly think there is nothing wrong with discussing politics and religion – however, it needs to be done right. Recognising Christmas is a religious holiday is fine, but come on too strong and it will feel like you are leading people into a cult. I am a big believer that we all have choice and we are all entitled to have choice. But enforcing your political and cultural opinions onto others without believing in choice, is a sure fire way to alienate your tribe. Be mindful.
  5. To schedule or not to schedule – that is the question. Christmas, for me, is a time to spend with loved ones, to have a mini break and to start planning 2017 goals. We know that a lot of social media posts over the Christmas and New Year period will be scheduled – so if you are doing this, please check back in and make sure what you scheduled months ago is still relevant and not inappropriate in any way. This becomes especially important in case of emergencies such as bushfire, natural disasters and other world wide catashrophies. An innocent post could cause heartache and grief if posted at the wrong time.
  6. Credit where credit is due. Now this is one of my all time pet peeves and turns me into the Christmas Grinch (even if it is not Christmas). Christmas is often a time of sending out products to influencers on social media, new products being launched or a time for collaboration. If you share images, share quotes, share memes, post product images – ALWAYS, and I mean always, give credit where credit is due. Tag the business owner who created the original image, tag the business who owns the products, tag the person who gave you the products. Failure to do this is stealing in my book (kind of dramatic, but come on, a simple tag takes 10 seconds and builds rapport and credibility, rather than making you look like a tight arse).

So before the jolly red man pays your business a visit, make sure you will be on his “Nice List”, and ensure you treat your Christmas and the festive season with some “social media respect”.

“Everything you do on social media, including posting on personal pages that are viewable by the public, is a reflection of you, your business and your brand.”

During this crazy time of year, don’t get your bells in a jingle and wake up in an egg nog infused state wondering why you have gone viral (for all the wrong reasons).

Spend the extra five minutes thinking about your social media presence from your clients and customers perspective, and ensure everything you continue to post (or schedule) is aligned with your brand, your values and your morals. Merry Christmas.

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