When it comes to social media, authenticity is key. If you aren’t being yourself, your audience and followers will see right through you. However, there is a fine line between being yourself and being professionally authentic.
One trend we’ve seen recently on social media is videos from professionals mocking or poking fun at clients. Whether it’s the client’s budget, expectations, or lack of understanding, making fun of those who allow you do to what you do professionally is unprofessional.
Sure, it might be funny or trendy, and we understand everyone needs to blow off a little steam.
But when you post a video making fun of a client, it can be off-putting to potential clients who may not get your sense or humor, as all they see is a “mean girl” in a 10 second reel or TikTok.
Imagine you are scrolling Instagram and you see a reel mocking a client who didn’t understand a pricing structure or who communicated differently than preferred. It might make you question the professionalism of that person – and it also might make you wonder if they would talk about you that way one day.
The client/social media manager relationship needs to be based on trust and open communication. And if the client thinks every interaction could be fodder for your reels, that will assuredly break down trust and communication and will likely lead that client to eventually leaving your roster.
When we train social media managers, we urge them to be authentically professional. What does that mean exactly? It means be yourself but be the “yourself” you’d be in a job interview or when you are giving a speech or presentation.
In comedy, there is “punching up” and “punching down.” Punching up is when you make someone the butt of your jokes who has more power than you; punching down is when you mock someone with less power.
When you mock a client, we consider that punching down and if we’ve learned anything over the past 10+ years in social media, it’s that punching down is a quick way to alienate your audience and hurt your brand.
You are likely using social media to build your brand and your client roster. In fact, we encourage using your own platforms as a “sample client” or a living portfolio of the kind of work you produce. So why alienate anyone on your potential list of clients?
No matter how trendy or light-hearted the intention is, being mean-spirited is no way to build a lasting brand in any industry.
If you feel the need to vent about clients, join an online community or talk to peers about your frustrations. Or, better yet, find a way to communicate your challenges on social media in a way that engages and educates – which is probably going to benefit you in the long run, by attracting those who find your content informative and engaging (and leaves them with a positive or happy feeling).
Client management is a true skill, and at the end of the day, it’s easier to keep a long-term client than it is to find and onboard a new one – longstanding relationships with clients are priceless.
No matter the industry you work in, being professionally authentic is a best practice. If you serve clients, constantly work to learn and improve your methods of client management as it can make all the difference in your long-term success.
If you are a social media manager looking for a community to talk shop and share best practices with others in your space, be sure to check out our Hay There INsiders community and join for free today.
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