Author: Cassie Gasaway
Social media create your company’s digital voice, and that voice shares information, reflects your business’s values, and inspires and encourages customers.
Unfortunately, too many companies use social media to express opinions and emotions that compromise their reputation and credibility, inflicting serious and lasting harm to their business.
Social-media platforms are public. Customers and community members tune in to study, analyze and sometimes judge your posts. Strive for posts that support customers and establish you as a trusted, objective and knowledgeable resource. Use the following tips to avoid trouble and controversy.
1. Beware the Double Standard
If your posts encourage customers to respect nature or use proper shooting form, don’t post a photo of someone holding a fawn or sloppily shooting a bow. Such contradictions tell customers they can ignore you. Follow your own rules. Hypocrisy degrades your authority. Lead by example. Ensure your posts aren’t contradictory.
2. Don’t Buck-Shame
Big bucks are alluring and majestic, but they’re also rare in most deer woods. Don’t post only big buck photos. Ensure does and small bucks are mainstream. They’re legal and respectable quarry, and can be just as exciting and memorable to arrow as a trophy buck.
Also make sure your social-media comments don’t buck-shame. Customers feed off your enthusiasm and support. If they tag your shop in a photo of a forkhorn they tagged, don’t ignore them or write, “He would’ve been a shooter next year.” Congratulate customers on every harvest photo they post. Consider going a step further by sharing their image.
3. Be Positive and Don’t Complain
No one will revisit your social-media page after scrolling through negative or disheartening photos and comments. Don’t post complaints or other dirty laundry. Negativity almost always will haunt you, so never complain about customers even if you don’t name them. Post upbeat, inspiring and positive content. Your posts should make all archers (whether they hunt, compete in tournaments, or shoot for recreation) feel welcomed and included. Encourage them regardless of the bow they shoot, their experience, or how long they’ve been shooting.
4. Screen Jokes and Memes
People have different values, morals, beliefs and perspectives. Something you find funny can hurt or offend others. Know your audience and post content they’ll enjoy. If you’re unsure how your audience will react to a meme or cartoon, skip it or get a second opinion. Don’t risk losing customers over a joke.
5. Don’t Post Political or Religious Rants
Some businesses flaunt their political and religious views, and others never mention them. If you voice such opinions, you’ll attract only customers with the same viewpoint and repel everyone who thinks differently. It’s OK for a business to hold a firm stance on politics or religion, but it’s not OK to share them publicly if you want to maximize your business potential. Likewise, never shame, trash-talk or bad-mouth someone with differing viewpoints. Delete negative, political or religious posts. Fill your page with insightful posts about archery, bowhunting, shooting advice, upcoming events and business-related items.
6. Ensure Your Content is High-Quality Before Posting it
Blurry photos and busy or chaotic videos ruin your message, as do unprofessional signage or other items in the background. Trash, beer cans, profane or suggestive posters, and even sensitive customer information must never be visible online. Check your surroundings before taking photos or videos to ensure your content is clean and professional.
7. Monitor Your Personal Profile
Do you maintain separate business and personal social-media accounts? You must monitor both accounts closely and maintain similar standards for content. Potential or current customers might follow both pages. Even if your privacy settings are strict, you don’t want to risk having a friend or customer see anything that reflects poorly on your business. Nothing is fully private, but that doesn’t mean you must fear social media. Simply assess and acknowledge the potential consequences of each post should your mother or a potential customer see it. Never forget your audience, and keep your content accurate, interesting, positive and consistent with your highest values. If you do, you’ll have few worries.
Keep your posts positive and upbeat. Photo Credit: ATA
Create Positive, Productive Posts
Do you need help creating engaging, customer-friendly posts? The ATA’s got you covered. Check out the ATA’s free 12-month social-media calendar, which includes weekly messages ATA members can post on social media. Each post encourages people to comment, or visit your store or website. Tailor each message to your brand and customers.
Log into your MyATA member dashboard and click “Download Free ATA Resources.” Then click “Retail Resources” from the drop-down menu to download the social-media calendar.
The ATA’s “Takeaways from the ATA’s Social Media Summit” document also provides tips for being a good industry communicator. Click here to download the document. Its concepts stemmed from the ATA webinar “How Media Can Grow Bowhunting.” Click here to learn more.
Be smart on social media. Only post content that positively represents your business. Read these additional ArcheryTrade.org articles for more tips regarding social media: