How harmful can a little, seemingly insignificant lie on Facebook be? People won’t probably notice, and even if they do, you can turn the tide in your direction. You have a loyal bunch of followers, and it’s easy to appease them if matters get out of hand. So, you might as well go ahead and tell a lie rather than admit your shortcomings, right?
The thing is, if you find yourself agreeing to the statements above, you need to seriously rethink your online strategy. Nothing could ever be worse for your online reputation than posting dishonest statements on your social pages.
As a professional organization, remember that your audience is composed of informed, online savvy individuals who can spot insincerity at a glance. To discourage you from lying on social media, here are five real-life horrors you’d be facing if you fail to uphold transparency.
1. The audience loses interest.
Lying to your followers is perhaps the most counterproductive thing you can do, especially when we’re talking about social media management. Social media sites are built to bring networks and communities closer, and every organization works hard to ensure that their audience is actively interacting with the pages they follow online.
If you find yourself in a tight spot and you think lying can get you out of there, try not to give in to such thoughts. There are far better ways to keep your online reputation intact without driving away your followers; one of them is acknowledging your own lapses.
2. Brace yourself for “un-follows” and negative comments.
The “unfollow” option is marketer’s nightmare. Your job is to keep your followers’ hands away from this button. However, if you show even just a hint of dishonesty, a lot of users will quickly unfollow or even block you. And if that’s not disastrous enough, wait until you see negative comments flooding up your page. The way you respond to these complaints will determine whether you can still patch things up and make amends with your followers.
3. Your reputation can fall apart.
Everything you say online is a reflection of your reputation as an organization. Don’t let your name be remembered for failing to promote transparency when your followers are expecting you to safeguard their interests.
4. People won’t believe you next time.
Online reputation management is all about gaining and keeping people’s trust. But as more Internet users are becoming selective about who they follow on social media sites, it will be harder to regain their trust once you’ve lost it. You should try to be truthful at all times if you want to attract more followers and retain the old ones. Outright lying will only rob you of the chance to connect with your community in a deeper, more meaningful level.
5. Forget about building great relationships.
There could be some instances when you think that it’s okay to lie. However, what seems like a small thing to you might mean a whole lot for your audience. If you proceed into telling inaccurate statements, your followers may feel betrayed and misdirected. Thus, they’ll be turning away from your brand, and you’ll be having a tough time trying to rebuild your online reputation.
When you’re tempted to take the easy way out, that’s when you truly need to stick to your social media management plan. Don’t let a moment of confusion cost you highly valuable and loyal followers.