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4 Ways to Avoid Marketing Like a Weiner

(Note: Did you really think I’d let this opportunity to pass me by? I mean I’ll never get another opportunity to write a title like that…)

If you live in the US, you’ve heard of the big Congressman Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal. It’s everywhere.  Another politician caught with his pants down – or to be more accurate, caught tweeting pics with his pants down… 

Some say there is no such thing as bad publicity. As a marketer, I have to disagree, especially if you’re Representative Weiner and living up to your last name by acting like one. Odon't market your business like a weinervernight,  Rep. Weiner has become a joke – and not just to snot-nosed 11 year old boys who still giggle when they hear ‘peacock’ but to those of us who are older and mature enough to understand that sometimes a peacock is just a peacock.  So, yes, there is such a thing as bad publicity – and these days publicity, especially bad publicity is all too easy to come by. Just one little slip of the keyboard or a too-fast flick of the “send” button, and you could be ruined.

Social media is a wonderful resource for promoting and managing a small business reputation.  But as the Rep Weiner debacle has shown us, it can also be a reputation/small business killer.

Here are four ways you can avoid marketing your small business like a Weiner. 

  1. If you make a mistake, own up to it.  Man up, admit your mistakes and do everything in your power to improve and prevent it from happening again.  Whatever you do, don’t lie!  Businesses are made up of human beings and human beings make mistakes. We are never going to be perfect. The key to managing your reputation is to admit your mistakes, deal with them, and find ways to improve. Lying or pretending that everything is perfect when it isn’t alienates everyone. You will never build a successful business this way.
  2. Nothing you put out on Social Media is private – especially your privates. Marketing is all about managing your image.  If there are things about your business, your processes, your finances, your procedures, your management, etc that you don’t want the general public to know about, keep it to yourself.  Social media is not the place to complain about employees, customers, or vendors – and you never want to air your dirty laundry.  
  3. Don’t get too comfortable with your Facebook or Twitter “friends”.  Rep Weiner wrongly assumed that all of his little Twitter girlfriends were his real friends and the information and pictures he shared with them would be kept private. But as a high-profile government figure, that was just plain stupidity. As business owners, we need to be just as mindful of what we’re putting out there. Many years ago a well-meaning co-worker gave me some much needed advice that I think applies here.  He said to me, “going out for drinks with co-workers, and especially bosses, is still work – and you must treat it like work. Don’t drink too much and keep it appropriate.” I think that same rule should apply for social networking.
  4. Don’t wait until your flaws are embarrassingly exposed to get help. Rep Weiner has issues… whether he’s a sex addict, or just plain stupid is for him to decide. But clearly, he has issues.  Who is without flaws? I’d be lying if I said my business (or my life for that matter) is perfect. My point here for small business owners is this: recognize your weaknesses, own your weaknesses and then commit to doing something to address them. Too many small business owners wait until they’re a job away from closing their doors, or a week away from missing payroll to get help with their businesses. Don’t wait until it’s too late – get help now.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!! Leave your comments here.

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By the way, if you liked this post, I’d really appreciate your Retweet!!! Thank you. 🙂

 

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10 Responses

  1. Some great insight on this subject Carolyn. 4 really good take-aways that we can apply to OUR every day lives. YOu just never know who is watching and you always have to assume that anything you post on social media web sites will be there…forever and completely public.

    Bottom line….you should never post or send anything to anyone that you would not want your mother, your wife or your boss to see!

    1. Carolyn

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks! You would think that by now people would have learned to be very careful about what they put out there, but I guess some people still don’t get it. I hope that my article helped spare a small business or two the despair of a wrong move. Thanks for taking the time to read, vote, and comment. It’s much appreciated! – Carolyn

  2. BTW- 2 questions: 1) Did ANYONE really give a %$#! about Anthony’s weaner? Really?

    2) Would you have tuned into ANY specific news JUST to hear the LATEST about it?

    Then WHY did the media run it and investigate it 24/7 for 3 weeks straight on every newscast?

    R’s hire prostitutes(Illegal), & stay in office, ADMIT to performing an illegal act..then say they really didn’t, and stay in office, do perverted things with underage pages, Cheat on wives while lying about it to the public… Why would the media seem to LOVE destroying the most liberal D congressmen and pretty much allow the most conservative R’s to get away with much worse things? Just a coinKidink?

    1. Carolyn

      Lance – to answer you – I doubt anyone, other than Rep Weiner was interested seeing his stuff… and No, i did not purposely tune into any news to hear about it. However, I will point out that it got plenty of coverage on the liberal media too! – Carolyn

  3. Obviously, anyone that has ever listened to Weiner before this would have to admit he’s a pretty bright guy…about …issues affecting PEEPS everywhere. Unfortunately… he didn’t “grab” himself a Social Media (s)EXPERT! See his image now? He obviously didn’t know what tweeting pecs DOES or where it can show up… Same thing with many businesses! It can be a long slippery slope when you start lying or repeating unproven and untrue comments. I’m notorious for “fact”-checking, and POSTING the real story, usually with pics, not pecs. But that’s how we do business, no smoke or mirrors, we sell/recommend ONLY the best products and services, and promote ONLY the best businesses and their peeps. More and more, it’s getting easier and easier to “check” anything from any “body”. This IS creating HUGE competition and can let you STAND OUT. Being a part of a trusted MASSIVE business or group of businesses, absolutely makes you stand tall. Ok, I’m getting a headache with all these double meanings!

  4. Wonderful article. Maybe the “good” that comes out of this is that we are all a little smarter about social media. There are lessons to be learned here. How sad it would be if someone (public figure, business owner, or anyone else) repeated this mistake now knowing how things might turn out.

    1. Carolyn

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! I hope you are right about there being any bright side to this whole embarrassing situation. It seems by now people would learn that what you put out on the World Wide Web in not private!
      Thanks very much for reading my blog and for taking the time to post your comment! – Carolyn

  5. Well thought out and presented points. This is very timely considering the recent events with Mr. Weiner. I believe his problem has been around for some time and was always brushed aside and hidden from the masses. With Social media that is no longer the case.

    1. Carolyn

      Monte,

      You make a great point that also relates to small business (afterall, isn’t being a public figure almost like being a small business owner…??) – he had the problem for a long time and it just never surfaced. How many small businesses have underlying problems that they just keep sweeping under the rug, hoping it will go away – or that no one will notice. It’s always good to face your problems; it is only then that we can begin to find ways to fix them! This would have avoided a lot of embarrassement for the Congressman – and would probably also keep lots of small businesses in business!
      Thanks for your thoughtufl comment!
      -Carolyn

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