It's cool to be kind

03/11/2021 11:11:28
Over the last few years, there has been a (much needed) shift in how people are expected to behave online. It is no longer acceptable to hide, anonymous behind a screen, and everyone is expected to have greater accountability and responsibility for what they are releasing into the online world. The key message now, when posting anything on social, is ‘be kind’.
The pandemic has perhaps sped up this transition, with people exploring the vulnerability brought about by Covid-19 the only way you can in lockdown, and in testament to most people, the online support via social media has been its success story.
This doesn’t just apply to individual personal online interactions on socials, but also businesses. So, how can you be kind on social media, as a business?

Support your industry

There may have been a time when advertising and social media tactics were about undermining competitors – maybe even trash talking or ‘trolling’ those in the same market as you. Aside from this being a pretty ‘school yard’ approach to business, it is unnecessarily unkind. There are so many other ways to make your business look good than to make other businesses look bad. True choice, based on how reputable and excellent your product or service is, and healthy, fair competition is where the real winnings are. Supporting your peers and championing your industry online will create a much better environment for your business and hopefully, working together could lead to growth in your sector online.
If you think this all sounds a bit idealistic, think of it this way: you are only going to make yourself look bad by being disparaging of other businesses on social platforms. It may suggest that your business has nothing to shout about and must resort to underhand behaviour. Consumers are looking for ethical companies, companies that care. Social media may be a potential customer’s first experience of you, so make it a good one.
A great way to kindly support your industry sector is to follow other relevant accounts (not just potential customers), news and hashtags, and interact – this will show you as interested and expert in your field, while assisting others and contributing. If you can provide a comment that is useful and informed, people are more likely to approach you and business can be generated in this manner. Be the supportive, bigger business!

Champion partners, local businesses, and minority businesses

Just as you may champion your amazing friends and family on personal platforms, do the same for those with whom you are in partnership as a business, such as suppliers, customers, or distributors. This will bolster them, your business relationships, and may lead to reciprocation (which is always nice!). Someone else’s word is always better than your own and you can help each other on social media by recommending and championing achievements. Did you get great service from your office sarnie supplier? Shout about it! It will mean a lot to them, and I bet you might feel warm and fuzzy too…
Social responsibility is now key to every business model. A great way to be kind online is to champion and support social causes and people in business who perhaps do not have the same privilege and exposure as yours. Supporting local and minority businesses online can make a massive difference to them. Be socially aware and think: “what businesses are local to us or deserve a push” and pay it forward! Follow, interact, and recommend them across your social platforms.

Be authentic

An easy way to be kind on social media is to be authentic. This may sound a bit left-field but hear us out. It is important that people feel they know exactly who they are working with and what to expect from that product and service. Presenting an altered sense of your business is a breach of trust, that can only reflect badly on you and disappoint whoever is on the receiving end. Authenticity can also allow users to see the more human side of your business, which in turn builds trust. Whilst this may be better for some businesses than others, it can be of great reassurance to know that who you are dealing with online is who you are dealing with offline, too.
Authenticity doesn’t have to be solely customer focused, either. An authentic representation of your business within your industry is equally important. Allow yourself to acknowledge challenges in your industry, open the field to honest, heartfelt conversation with peers. This kindness may help create a symbiosis in your industry that benefits everyone!

It’s cool to be kind

In today’s business world, if you are not kind on social media, you will be left behind. When planning your social strategies, look over your content and ensure you are factoring in kindness – is it authentic? Have we contributed to our sector? Have we championed those who deserve it?
Some social media kindnesses are reactive, so it is important to keep an eye on your channels and react to industry news, successes and problems, and contribute to the conversation. Ensure you look out for new, local and minority businesses and give them a boost.  

Remember; it’s cool to be kind!

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