Social Media Etiquette 101 for wellness & spiritual practitioners

Here are some tips and hints that will help to keep your ‘digital reputation’ in tact.

  1. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to take your business global. However a social media faux pas can be very damaging. If someone wants a reading or to book into a course with you NEVER post on their page … they may not want their friends to know … send them a private message instead
  2. Do use your real name where ever possible. At a bare minimum, use a recognizable name (such as a common pen name everyone already knows for you). When you interact anonymously, very little holds you accountable for your actions and words.
  3. Control the spam. Even if you aren’t spamming the Internet, you need to be aware that others might.  Check your business’s Facebook account regularly to make sure that people aren’t posting spam on your feed.   After all, it makes your business look careless if your profiles are covered in junk.  And when you are posting, make sure to avoid junky phrases or tons of special characters like, “WIN NOW!*!*!*!” or “CLICK HERE GET $$$” that will turn people off from your website.
  4. Be accessible. Customers want to be heard.  Make it part of your customer service strategy to address customer complaints and compliments found online – both on your own social media site and external forums.  If a complaint is very rude and negative, it may warrant a private message.
  5. Watch your language. This can be in the no profanities sense, but also watch that you aren’t using too much slang.  Unless, of course, your marketing team uses informal language on a regular basis, then it’s okay.  Just make sure you are consistent.  Just because you are speaking for your business, doesn’t mean you have to lose personality either.  Even if your business is very formal, just think about how you would communicate any business message – including using verbiage you would see on the company website or in a company-wide memo.
  6. Be careful with frequency. Don’t over-post …but don’t under-post.  There is no magic formula for the number of posts per day.  Each medium has slightly different rules of etiquette.  On Twitter, for example, it is acceptable to post more than once a day.   While, on Facebook, it really isn’t acceptable unless there are multiple big announcements in one day – like a product launch or event.   Just because you can think of something to say, doesn’t mean you should.  You don’t want your posts to be so frequent that they become irrelevant to your audience.  Also check with your co-workers to see if anyone else will be posting so there is no conflict or re-posting on the same topic.
  7. Don’t be dull. Coming up with fresh content and events to post about all the time is certainly challenging.  However, you should try to vary the type of content as much as possible.  If you post an article one day, try a video the next.   And don’t just focus on self-promotion.  If you want to be a thought leader, you need to acknowledge other industry-related articles on the web.   Finally, focus on creating buzz worthy posts that people will be more likely to send it to their friends.  After all, social media is all about creating a network.

Creating a circle

I wrote this article back in 2007 after receiving some emails asking me how to start a circle and how to find the right members. Circles can be magical things, and are so worthwhile.

I’ve been in a few different circles over the years. We started a new one today ~ we called it New Age Goddesses (or NAGs) hehehe.

If you don’t have friends that share your passion, then there’s a couple of ways you can go about finding like-minded goddesses:

STEP ONE: KNOW WHAT KIND OF MEMBER YOU WANT
First of all its important to consider the qualities you want most in a fellow circle member. The best members are committed to taking action, excited about making changes, good listeners and open minded.

STEP TWO: DETERMINE THE TYPE OF GROUP YOU WANT 

Open Group: This may be a group with an unlimited number of members. With an open group, there is no commitment to attend.

Closed Group: This group has a finite number of members. If you want equal time, six to eight members are best. If not, the group can be larger. There is a commitment to attend (I recommend a three month expectation to start) How Often Will You Meet? I recommend that you schedule your meetings three months in advance to make planning easy and to demonstrate your commitment to the group. We meet bi-weekly, but monthly is also good.Remember that the goal is to stay in action!

STEP THREE: FINDING MEMBERS
There are a number of ways to find new members for your group. Here are some examples:

  • If you belong to a message board, do an expression of interest post calling women in your area that are on the board.
  • Create a flyer. Be sure to include tear-tabs at the end of your flyer so people can leave with your contact information (not your flyer!).
  • Send an invitation. Invite friends, colleagues, family members or acquaintances to an informal evening discussion so you can talk about the idea of forming a group and determine the level of interest.
  • Have a friend ask a friend. One of the quickest ways to get a group going is to invite one or two friends and ask them to bring along a friend. (Personally I find this the best way).

STEP FOUR: POST YOUR FLYER
Here are some places you can post your flyer: bookstores; cafe; lunch/break rooms at work; children’s school; churches; colleges and universities; community service centers; daycare center; grocery stores (bulletin boards); health clubs; libraries; spas; hair/nail salons; women’s centers; yoga centers; and YWCA/YMCA/Recreation centers.

Some of these places may even allow you to use their space for meetings. Be creative!

STEP FIVE: FOLLOW SMART GROUP GUIDELINES

The following guidelines not only help to create a safe place for a productive and enjoyable meeting, but they help to eliminate the kind of habits that quickly dissolve a group. Review these guidelines at the beginning of every meeting.

Confidentiality: Everything that is said at a meeting is strictly confidential.

Equal time: When running a closed group, be sure that each person has a chance to speak. While there may certainly be times when a member needs extra attention, it’s important to prevent members from continuously dominating the conversation. To ensure that everyone gets equal time. Do not allow cross talk, criticism and advice giving, or “fixing” of anyone.

Positive focus: Put the attention on what works. Look for and acknowledge a member’s strengths. Keep complaining and whining to a minimum—one minute or less (we all need to do it sometimes). Speak from your own experience: Use the word “I,” not “you,” when speaking to other members.

Honour the group: Check in regularly to be sure that all members are satisfied with how the meetings are run. Be willing to tell the truth gracefully. You might check in at the end of each meeting, once a month or once a quarter.

STEP SIX: GROUP FACILITATION

There are many formats you can use to run a successful group meeting. Some groups may be about finding and pursuing your passion, in general. Your group may also be formed around a particular subject, like writing or volunteering.

There are two types here—one for a closed meeting and one for an open meeting. With either type, rotate facilitation responsibilities. This prevents one member from taking responsibility for the success of the group.

Closed Meeting Format: Negotiate equal time for each member. Review group guidelines. Start with 15 minutes of success stories, catch up, or letting go of anything that might prevent you from being fully present. Begin the group discussion. Allow the first person to speak without interruption for the allotted time. When finished, ask for feedback and/or support from other members. Be specific! Commit to homework for the next meeting. Move on to the next person. Needs and resources—when each member has had a chance to be fully heard, open the meeting and allow members to ask for and receive any additional help. A member might need a supportive phone call before taking a difficult action or contact information that will allow them to move forward. Share your resources with each other! Set up or confirm the next meeting.

Open Meeting Format: Welcome participants. Review group guidelines. Start with 15 minutes (or more depending on the size of the group) of success stories, catch up, or letting go of anything that might prevent you from being fully present. Begin group discussion. The facilitator can begin by discussing a certain subject and then open the meeting to other members. Depending on the size of the group, you may need to limit speaking time to 2 or 3 minutes each. Remember that allowing someone to dominate the space causes people to feel frustrated. They won’t come back! Gently remind the person speaking that time is limited. Suggest homework for the group. Needs and resources—allow 15 minutes at the end of the meeting for members to ask for and receive help. Share your resources with each other! Set up or confirm the next meeting.

I hope this helps – good luck!

Love, joy & rainbows,

mich
x.

What do you want to know about marketing?

Many of you have heard me say I’m a walking contradiction … corporate gal by day, and hippy chick by night. And that’s true.

While my passion is working in my coaching practice, I’ve also been working in the marketing,communication and media field now for, or let’s say around …. ummmm …. 27 years now (now I’m really showing my age).

With more than 20 years experience providing high-level strategic communications planning, project management and evaluation services for government and the private sector, I specialise in designing and implementing high-profile marketing communication strategies, managing major public education campaigns, stakeholder engagement, issues management, public relations and branding.

For the past 10 years I have been employed in communications positions in several Australian Government at a senior level. Prior to this I worked in various marketing and communication roles for blue-chip companies. For years I have been providing advice to spiritual and wellness practitioners on how to promote and build their practice or business. Two years ago, I wrote and delivered a nationally accredited Certificate IV qualification in marketing for small business.

Most recently, I have been the marketing and business mentor for internationally acclaimed healer and author Denise Linn’s Gateway Dreaming Professional Certification program. I’ve provided tips and hints from how to set up a business blog, to social media etiquette, and becoming your own brand.

I’ve taken the next couple of weeks off work to concentrate on finishing my first eBook and coaching program on marketing for spiritual and wellness practitioners. And to make sure I cover everything you want to know, just leave a message in the comments and let me know what topics you’d like to see me cover.

Blissings,

Michelle