I may be dating myself, but when I think about the importance of thinking first and posting on social media second, an Aretha Franklin song pops into my head.
It’s the chart-busting tune “Think,” released as a single in 1968. The 1980 rerecording for the soundtrack of the iconic movie The Blues Brothers may bring Aretha’s hit more easily to mind, as might its 1989 redo on her Through the Storm album. Its wisdom, however, is timeless.
The song, with its first line, “You better think (think),” is good advice when it comes to social media.
As Aretha sings it, “Think” before you post. Think twice, in fact. Because whatever you post will be in cyberspace forever. You can’t take it back.
Think first, think twice, and never post these
Earlier this year, we published a blog post covering What to Post — and What Not to Post — on Social Media. Suggestions of what NOT to post included:
- Negative posts about customers or clients
- Irrelevant viral content
- Political or religious posts
- Content that isn’t properly proofread or edited
- Too much overtly promotional content
- Content inconsistent with branding
- Misleading posts
- Unattributed content
Think first and mind your manners
Social Media Today has some additional pointers for minding your manners on social media, whether you are creating a post or responding to a negative review or comment.
- Avoid sarcasm. After all, it is the lowest form of humor. Try wit instead. But only if you are very, very good at it.
- Whatever you say, say it with a smile. A smile promotes professionalism, good will, and good manners.
- Be kind. Refrain from sharing negative comments on public posts.
- Pause a beat before you post. Or as Aretha says, “Think” first.
Think first and “get” the etiquette
Hootsuite has these additional etiquette tips:
- Know your audience and post appropriate content.
- Forget about using automatic responses. Speak to people individually.
- Be nice to your competitors.
- Use hashtags sparingly.
- Follow judiciously.
- Give credit where it’s due. Tag those whose content you are sharing in your posts.
- Watch your tone.
Why thinking and social media are good for business
Social media, if done right, is good for your business. According to the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 87% of respondents experienced increased exposure from using social media, 78% reported increased website traffic, and 63% saw an increase in customer loyalty.
There are approximately 3.04 billion social media users worldwide, with global internet users spending 135 minutes daily on social media sites. About the same number — more than 3 billion — actively access social media on their mobile devices.
In the U.S., 79% of people have at least one social media profile, making the U.S. the largest social media advertising market in the world. Ninety percent of these folks reach out to brands or retailers.
That same percentage of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media over one they do not.
Put all of this together, and you can’t afford to ignore social media.
Think like Aretha
Aretha’s “Think” was a lucky hit. It made the number seven slot on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 15, 1968, and was her seventh top 10 hit in the U.S. It also reached the top slot on Billboard’s Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles.
So think first and make it to the top. Just like Aretha.