Are you showing negative social proof?
Can negative social proof ruin credibility?
To put it bluntly, negative social proof is social media laziness. It’s the Twitter page that has 10 tweets over the span of 2 years, the unmonitored Facebook Page with minimal posts, and the website that is, by all appearance, unaffiliated with anything else. It’s great that businesses understand the need for social media, and that they take the time to create profiles and pages. However, their inactivity is sending the wrong message to clients. Barren social media pages are far worse for businesses than not having any at all. It is pointless to join the social media revolution, if businesses aren’t staying active. These pages are showing proof of company lethargy.
The Idea of the City
Metaphor Alert: It would be the same as a group of people constructing a few buildings in a barren area and calling it a city. People might call it a city since it may or may not have that Western John Wayne feel to it, but by modern comparison, it is not a city.
Go into any metropolis, maybe Long Beach or Los Angeles, and observe the liveliness of everything. Take in the overall feel you get from the fact that people are everywhere, that people are coming and going. Buildings are properly named with the correct address, and you can easily find the important items like city hall, the library, and a park where people congregate.
Now compare this metropolitan city to the ghost town. Which city would you like to visit? Which city is better and why? Most of the reasons you come up with should coincide with how businesses should be running their social media outlets.
How to Build a Better City
The simple answer is to be active. Businesses fail because they are not actively engaging their work and trying to promote. If you have read any of our previous blogs covering the Facebook Marketing Principles or Tips on Blogging, then you would understand that being active translates to updating and posting on a regular basis. As learned from Social Media Expert, Frank J. Kenny, the first key to success is understanding your audience.
Your Buildings: Post and replies will serve as the foundation for your city. Massive and beautiful buildings are the difference between a major city and a no-name city. If you want people to regularly visit; you need to have some sort of attraction. Posting about 2-3 times a week is sufficient. Depending on your type of business, this may fluctuate. It is important to find the right balance, so you won’t underwhelm or overwhelm your customers. Be sure to ask questions and offer promotions, so people will enjoy their visit.
Public Transportation: Everything you do online should be connected. People should be able to seamlessly navigate from each one of your outlets by simply clicking a button—from your Facebook page to your website to your Twitter account to your LinkedIn and so on. All of these things should be working with each other and not against one another. Have social media badges on emails and on your website. Unify the city by making easier transportation.
Police Force: There are countless fake accounts and pirates out there in the digital world. Every social media outlet has its own type of spamming. Most of them won’t be as obvious as “click here to win a free iPod,” so there has to be someone keeping a close eye on who is commenting on your page and who are the people trying to add you. Fake comments on websites usually come from obscure and weird email addresses. They usually say something very ambiguous and vague. Make sure to regular monitor for suspicious activity. Spam and phishing can easily tarnish a good website. They are graffiti that ruin the credibility of your website or page.
Also, it is important to eliminate all of the useless and unhelpful listings that convolute the internet. Make sure that the only listings that you want on the web are the one’s your company has personally verified. Third party websites will always try to list businesses without their consent. Search the web for any listings that may confuse potential clients.
Community: This is self-explanatory. Once you are able to posts on a consistent basis and promote your sites, then your city will start to populate itself.
Now, you have your city. Be wary though! Laziness and inactivity will quickly ruin your hard earned metropolis and turn it back into a ghost town. Subsequently, negative social proof will ruin credibility and limit your access to customers. It may take some time to fully update all of your sites, but it will all be worth it. Although social media marketing requires more effort than traditional marketing, it is a platform that will continually work for you. The Internet never rests. Building an awe-inspiring city will effectively increase business.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but when it was finished, it was an empire!
Nelson Ta is the Content Editor and lead blogger for Omnibeat. As a social media enthusiast with an extensive background in writing, he strives to help businesses and people understand the latest trends in social media, technology, and marketing.