No matter how you look at it, social media is ultimately about showing off. New decks? Straight on Facebook. Sunbathing on holiday with a cocktail in hand? Instagram it is. The reason we do this is because it makes us feel good. We all like to feel important, whether we’re showing off our latest gadgets, telling a hilarious anecdote or spouting our ‘expert advice’ for the government. However, social media is quickly becoming more than just a place to broadcast the highlights of our social lives; these platforms provide an opportunity to gain leads for our businesses too. That’s where separating our personal affairs and our business brand becomes incredibly important…
As those who are friends with me on Facebook will know, I post about professional and personal matters in equal measure, not worrying about how my sometimes potentially controversial views or sense of humour could affect people. Some would say this ‘take me or leave me’ attitude is just a part of my personality – and to some extent, it is – but when I choose to broadcast it to my business associates and peers, it also becomes part of my business brand (whether I like it or not). The risk in mixing personal and professional is that it could be losing me business… and that’s something none of us can afford to let happen!
Over the past few years, social media has steadily become more and more integral to business and marketing. As a result, I’ve now come to realise that the way I do things won’t stand for much longer. I’m currently in the process of changing this and I’ll explain a little more about why and how I’m doing so later in the article. But for now, let’s look at some of the issues concerning social media and its potentially detrimental effect on business.
Image is everything (and it’s out there all the time)
These days, what’s the first thing HR people and employers do when they receive an application from a potential candidate? Check their social media profile! In 2018, we’re more visible than we’ve ever been and customers can use this to their advantage just as employers do. Sure, we can adjust our privacy settings to stop people snooping but that’s not good if you want to be open for business. As a mobile DJ, you need your customers to have access to your profile so they can see for themselves what you do best and be persuaded to book you! If a potential lead goes to your profile and it’s private they’ll be just as put off as they would be if they’d been greeted by a photo of you eating breakfast in your boxers. Image is everything – and when you are your business, this is the biggest vulnerability. Ask yourself how you come across on social media; is this image professional or not? If not, you need to make some changes.
The problem with politics…
… is that every person has a unique outlook and believes, deep down, that their view is the correct one. That’s why political posts often elicit extreme reactions and passionate replies. OK, so sometimes a strong personality can be your selling point; some DJs might take that risk – just put it all out there, warts and all, and give people the choice to either like it or lump it. But for many DJs – especially if you’re just starting out – that’s a big risk to take. Your views will undoubtedly alienate some people and each person you alienate is a potential customer lost.
My advice would be to think very carefully before posting some kind of Brexit rant or the like on a public-facing social media profile. You need to separate the personal and political and eradicate the risk of alienating the type of local community that provide vital work for most mobile DJs. The bottom line is that politics have the potential to offend, so any kind of political view is best kept private.
Because EVERYBODY gets sarcasm
Now, asking you to completely remove all traces of humour from your social profiles would be an extreme suggestion. Humour is important; it helps engage customers and it helps sell to them. In fact, as a mobile DJ, a good sense of humour might be a quality that potential customers expect to see in you, especially if they’re interested in booking an MC or wedding host. The advice I would give is to avoid extreme sarcasm, as well as any jokes that are – or could be taken as – sexist, racist or otherwise highly offensive. Witty comments and quirky humour can really endear a customer to you and can help build a relationship with them, but as soon as you enter risky territory you need think very carefully about what you put up.
Sarcasm is problematic because it can be easily misconstrued. Despite the fact that the British are known for their sarcasm and dead-pan delivery, you’d be surprised at how often people mistake sarcasm – especially when the joke is being conveyed through a screen rather than in person. Just because your mates know your humour’s drier than the Sahara, it doesn’t mean potential customers do; your joke could easily backfire and result in another lost booking. My advice: save it for the pub!
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 87, Pages 28-30.