You’ve probably heard the phrase, “an elephant never forgets.” Maybe you’ve seen the classic cartoon by Max Fleischer?
I’m often inspired by visuals. Sometimes a visual pops a title or idea into my mind. I was searching some stock photos (you do know they don’t have to suck, right? That’s another article entirely) and came across an image that sparked this idea …
Like An Elephant, An Audience Never Forgets!
When you’re building and maintaining a community, you’ve got to keep many things in mind, like:
- Personalities add color, but can also create conflict.
- People will always try to test the boundaries of what’s acceptable.
- Maintaining a robust community is time consuming, so not all the “easy.”
- Trust is tantamount when it comes to your community spirit!
That last bullet point is really the “golden nugget,” if I can steal my gal pal Brooke Ballard’s catch-phrase, I hope you’ll take away in this read.
Trust Lost Is Nearly Impossible To Regain
Sadly, there are so many ways you can lose the trust of your audience, your community. We see instances shared across social media feeds, infractions by brands big and small, almost every day.
Because we see them every day, it appears these kinds of blunders are barely obvious to the bulk of brands and marketers. Which is rather frightening.
When I’m part of a community, or a member of a peer’s audience, I find the following infractions most daunting:
1. Sharing Craptastic Content
It’s really not all that hard to ensure the content you share actually gels with your audience. Ready for the big reveal? READ before you share! So simple, yet so easy to forget.
When it comes to curating and then sharing killer content with your audience, there are no “trusted” resources. If you don’t read, you’ll get burned eventually, no matter how big the name behind the publish.
2. Dumb “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” Moments
If spamming the community is a no-no, then it’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t only share your own stuff, every hour, on the hour!
If you expect your community and audience members to act in a certain way, you must lead by example!
3. You’ve Gotta Back It Up
There’s nothing worse than seeing a strong opinion stated, and stated well, then watered down with wishy-washy replies to dissenting opinions.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Do not devalue your smart, strong opinion with a smiley-face emoticon! GACK!” quote=”Do not devalue your smart, strong opinion with a smiley-face emoticon! GACK!”]
When you share an idea, there’s always the possibility that the entirety of your audience is NOT going to be on board. Agreeing to disagree is an art form. It doesn’t mean you roll over and lie dead, diminishing the impact and intent of the idea you felt must be shared.
4. Feeding Frenzy
There’s nothing worse than a hostile takeover … of my social media feed!
The stuff you’re jazzed to share? We’re sure it’s great. We trusted you enough to follow you, thus we think you’re head’s on straight. That doesn’t mean we want to see your avatar fifteen times in fifteen minutes.
Spread the love around, in a timely and tempered fashion, with some smart scheduling. This goes for Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Google+ (and basically anyplace else that delivers information in a feed).
5. Flat Out Bad Behavior
If you name call or are too aggressive and act the ass, your name is soon aligned with that most overused and abused buzzword, “hater.”
While I think the term is overused, it doesn’t mean the behavior is okay. You can’t bully your way into influence or prominence.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You can’t bully your way into #influence or prominence.” quote=”You can’t bully your way into influence or prominence.” theme=”style4″]
Forgiven Is Not Forgotten
Though you might manage to make an appropriate apology for your blunder or faux pas, the infraction will not be forgotten.
Your audience will remember. Though they might forgive the infraction, it will be stored in the vault of their memories. Secondary stumbles won’t be so easy to shake off.
Trust earned is so valuable. Trust lost is a tragedy. Don’t engage in activities and actions that could tumble that trust. Your audience won’t forget.
How About You?
What actions and activities trip your trust meter?