You Might Want to Rethink That Social Media Post

By Elizabeth Round, Village Home Stores

Many people consider all social media content to live fast and die young. Post it today and by tonight it’s forgotten.

Well reader, if that’s true then please explain all the embarrassing photos of me that seem to surface before every class reunion. I am dropping in today to help shake that single use, post-and-ghost way of thinking out of your brand’s voice on social media.

Everything you thought you knew about the lifespan of a post, throw it out the window. Every week Village Home Stores gets at least a handful of questions on Pinterest or Instagram posts that are years old. That Instagram follower asking about a wall tile just may be our next whole-home remodel client, and their first impression of us was years old!

Speaking of first impressions, please hear me when I say that every single post you place online as your brand is important. If not, then do not post it. I mean it. I am giving you the green light to NOT publish on social. The Internet is too noisy and crowded for your great content to be buried by #HappyNationalBundtCakeDay posts.

What a bummer if someone was served your photo of a Bundt cake instead of an image you shared showing off your stocked showroom and friendly staff. Think of it from a consumer’s point of view: What weighs better as a first impression of your store? A stock photo with “Happy Easter” popping up in your feed a week later … or an image of a new fridge arrival including a store location tag and a link to purchase?

We do not get to choose when or where our customers will get their first impressions of our stores. While can control things like our staff’s product training, our website experience, and our in-store shopping experience, we cannot control where our customer’s eyes were before they see our site or step foot in our store. That is why you must treat every post you make as if it could be a first impression. Your next big-ticket purchaser could be getting tagged in the comments of what you thought was just an ordinary photo you were posting.

Now, are you ready for the best news in small business social media ever? When it comes to content in 2021, less is more! When I started to realize this, it was a gamechanger for our Village Home Stores content. We did not need mountains of posts every week. Just a few great ones that get our followers engaged and talking about them.

So, I suggest avoiding crowdingyour social feeds, but be sure to still post great content when you are able to. Wasn’t it Abraham Lincoln who said that “They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should”?  Oh wait, it wasn’t Lincoln … that was Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park who said that.

Either way, ask yourself these three questions every time you think you should post online:

  • Is this content relevant to who we are, what we sell, or what we do?
  • Can this content answer a question about who we are, what we sell, or what we do?
  • Does this post make a good first impression of who we are, what we sell, or what we do?

Always post with faith and conviction that what you are saying is important to your audience today, a week from today, or even stumbled upon years from now. If that does not track with the image or caption you are about to post, then maybe pump the brakes on publishing it.

Most of what we post as businesses will be seen by few, and never again … but anyone who has been tagged in a photo online that you thought was never going to see the light of day again knows that there is a bit of a circle of life to all content, and that we have no say in the lifespan of what we post.

But we can control what we send out online. So, consider it all a possible first impression for your next big sale.

Elizabeth Round is the marketing manager and host of a local TV show for BrandSource member Village Home Stores.