Social media is a powerful marketing tool. A good social media campaign can bring increased traffic to your store and build positive brand awareness but there are pitfalls that can create serious problems. Improper posting might alienate new and existing customers or even threaten your life and livelihood.
Posting on social media can be a lot of fun. It is a way to connect with friends and family and it is tool for your business, but it is important to keep your business and personal pages completely separate. Your business page should only focus on your brand and nothing else. Even your personal pages should be tailored to improving your image as a part of the local community.
We all have opinions on politics and society. Many people enjoy passionate debates but these topics should never be on your business page. If you and your business are well known in your community, you might want to be cautious about controversial topics on your personal page as well. Customers shop with people they like and can relate to. Why take the chance of losing a customer over an online viewpoint?
Because we are in the jewellery business we must very careful about posting too much personal information. We are in a high-risk profession with access to very expensive and very portable items. There are professional thieves that scour social media looking for easy victims. Announcing travel plans, dinner dates and sales calls are all online clues to tip off the bad guys as to your whereabouts and what you might have in your possession. Disable apps like Foursquare or any other GPS location devices, especially when travelling with goods. If you really feel that you must share your personal life; only post where you have been recently instead of where you are.
Protect your family. If you are going to share pictures of your kids, be sure your privacy settings are configured to post only to trusted friends and not to the public. Don’t let the crooks know where your kids are or what they look like. They know you’ll open your safe in a heartbeat to protect them. Why make it easy?
I personally know of an incident where social media was used to set up a robbery. A travelling diamond dealer, addicted to social media was constantly posting his location, activities and state of intoxication. He uploaded a photo of himself and a client looking over several large stones in a private room at a restaurant. He followed it with another photo of them celebrating over a couple bottles of wine. Foursquare automatically posted the name and address of the restaurant. As they walked to their cars someone called them by name and robbed them at gunpoint, taking over a million dollars in diamonds.
Always be aware of what kind information you are sharing with the public. Think of a social media post as a billboard next to a busy highway. If you wouldn’t put it on the billboard, don’t post it online.