"When Social Media is Not Just Social"

Author: Cherrie Woods, PR Consultant/Book Publicist/Workshop Facilitator


I’ve always been a bit introverted and self-conscious about being in the public eye. I blame it on having traditional parents who always stressed that your  public appearance and behavior need to be   impeccable.  Some have called me old-fashioned   and overly sensitive about how I conduct myself  , but I’m happy to say that has helped my success in public relations and has been particularly helpful in how I interact with social media. 



Social media is an excellent and inexpensive tool that allows a person to effectively build a brand and share their platform. But if your page or posts are not managed well or fail to attract your target audience, being on social media is simply a waste of your time.” 



First, let me be clear, I’m not writing this article to preach to anyone about social media. There are already several articles that speak to the pluses and downfalls of these online tools. I’m really wanting to impress upon anyone who uses their social media channel as a business tool that their social media posts can enhance or detract from their business opportunities. Even my clients, who overall trust my direction, pause when I share with them that they need to rethink their social media posts. So lately, I’ve tasked some of them with checking out other individual’s business pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, post by post, and then writing  assessments based on an evaluation exercise I’ve developed that asks: Would you want to work with this person based on their posts? That exercise has ended most of their objections to changing their posting habits. 


"Some authors share too much about their personal life or views; “transparency” should often, be “taken to the grave”.  An author should share enough on social media to allow their followers to feel at home and to engage them to help build excitement around release dates and events where they will appear. – Sharon Lucas, founder, Black Authors and Readers Rock Conference (BARR).


Because the majority of my current clients are authors, I wanted to include the above quote from my client Sharon Lucas, who is the founder/event coordinator of an authors’ conference in Oxon Hill, MD. Her quote provides important direction to authors on what not to do and what to do to ensure their posts are effective for their followers and readers.   

There are many examples of ineffective use of social media for individuals who have a business. This article is to remind anyone who uses social media as a business opportunity that even the social media channels recognize that they are more than social with the advent of FB ads, FB post boosts, etc. If social media channels see themselves as business opportunities, I encourage you to do so, too. 

So, if you are also your business – either a small business or a creative entrepreneur (performing/visual artist, author, etc.), I strongly suggest you create a separate business page. However, even with a separate business page, individuals may ascertain that it is still you on both pages. I’m not saying not to be social on social media, but if you’re also a business, your posts could become part of your online business résumé; so be social, but also be mindful. You are being watched. 

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