Your reputation precedes you; your reputation follows you, and once established, your reputation is—for better or worse—tough to shake. That’s why actively positioning yourself and your professional brand is so important. Think of it this way: your reputation is on the line with every tweet, shared image, Facebook update, LinkedIn post, and response (or lack of a response) to a negative review or customer complaint online.
When it comes to company culture, there may be no better way to see what a brand is all about than to check out its social media sites. Sure, establishing a company’s core values is (for the most part) an internal initiative, but as Brooke pointed out in a post earlier this month, your company culture is essentially the personality of your brand. And whether you intend to or not, your personality will shine through in all your interactions—internal and external—especially when it comes to social.
And because—as this BrassTacs Thinking blog post stresses—your values as a company are demonstrated—and judged—through the people you entrust to embody them, it is especially important to choose the right person to speak on your and on your brand’s behalf.
So, whether you are aspiring to land your dream social media job, are already tasked with engaging patients and colleagues while maintaining your brand’s voice, or are a clinic owner setting the tone and strategy for your company’s social media initiatives, you may want to consider the following few tips:
Delete your profiles
I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but if you are in the job market, I recommend deleting all your social profiles, erasing your hard drive, and ditching any mobile devices you have. A bit much? Okay, fair enough. At the very least, you should conduct a seriously thorough audit of your social media profiles and ditch any pics or updates that might offend a potential employer. You do know that your potential employer is going to check out your tweets, right? It’s true.
Picture the future
Do you aspire to work for a specific clinic or know the type of employer you’d like to work for? You can take steps today to position yourself for your dream job in the future. Make it a point to exhibit the types of qualities and online behaviors that align with your dream company’s core values.
Don’t be a jerk
Whether you are a seasoned pro or a new intern charged with running your company’s Twitter account, you are now your brand’s official spokesperson. No one likes snarky remarks, inside jokes, or incoherent ramblings, so always play nice. And remember, people are absolutely judging your company’s brand based on the content you post, how responsive or nonresponsive you are to comments and questions, and your overall tone and presentation.
Don’t assume everyone shares your sense of humor
Having a well developed and lively company culture is great! However, culture tends to be very specific to each company that embraces it, so it isn’t a given that your social followers will share your enthusiasm for something so distinctly yours. So while your best bet is to simply be yourself, you also should be approachable, engaging, and fun—and keep it light on the inside jokes.
The Big Wig
Set the vision
Congratulations! You’ve taken the time to clearly define and document your company’s core values, and you’ve succeeded in having staff embrace your company culture. You might even consider your company culture as a competitive advantage or a special something that sets you apart from the rest. Now it’s important to define your voice and tone—and to stick to it.
Hire the right person
Earlier this month, Charlotte talked about the importance of hiring for cultural fit, and this is especially important when filling such a visible, public-facing position. “Hiring for cultural fit means hiring people based more so on their ‘below the surface’ qualities rather than their technical abilities. Why? Because you can’t train people to genuinely possess the same values that you and your business do.”
No matter your role, your best social media strategy is to be genuine and stay true to who you are. And don’t forget, people won’t judge you for who you say you are. They’ll judge you for who you actually are, the type of content you share with your followers, and the way you interact with your audience.
Ever wonder what the future of physical therapy looks like? Look no further than a group of dedicated, outspoken DPT students who are vocal about all sorts of PT-related issues on social media, helping to spark a healthy dialogue about the current state of the profession and the direction it’s likely to take in the years to come.