Here you are. A friend just re-tweeted an article titled, ‘The Greatest Blog Post Ever,” so you felt compelled to click and enjoy. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to settle for really good. You’ve just become the victim of hyperbole, social media style.
A few weeks ago, a friend wrote a great post (seriously) about how we lie on social media. We see this daily on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and so on. From friends discovering the burger to end all burgers to folks raving about their most recent trip to Chipotle.
We love that social media makes this kind of rave review possible, but how long will it be until we all get numb? When everything becomes awesome, doesn’t the word ‘awesome’ lose its meaning? Do we need to develop a new word? Super-awesome?
In hopes of avoiding this frightful devolution, I’m offering 3 questions for you to ask yourself before your next post:
1. What Kind of Expectation am I Setting Up?
Choose your words wisely. Each post paints a picture in your friends and followers’ minds. If you tweet that your favorite local coffee shop has the tastiest coffee, speediest service, and prettiest decor, then that’s exactly what I’m going to be expecting.
When you clicked on the link for this post, you were expecting the greatest blog post ever. That is the expectation I set on the front end. How am I doing so far?
2. Can This Product/Service/Brand Fulfill That Expectation?
Going back to the coffee shop example, what happens when I show up and it fails to meet the expectations you set up? Not only will I be disappointed with my experience, but I’ll be disappointed with your recommendation. Neither of us want that.
3. Am I Being Honest?
- Did I really just find the greatest hot dog in Nashville?
It was good, but probably not the greatest.
- Was ‘The Fighter’ really the best movie I’ve seen in months?
I enjoyed it, but certainly not the best.
- Does Sweet CeCe’s really have the most amazing frozen yogurt?
It’s fantastic, but its no Pinkberry.
This all points back to being authentic in your online identity. If you’re a business or brand, you want to be a person of informational value, not a person of superficial fluff. If you’re on a personal account, you want to take care of your friends and give the real deal.
Don’t Be That Guy (or Girl)
A positive attitude is like gold, to be sure. We all have that friend who absolutely loves everything. Each experience is the most amazing experience they’ve ever had. I love the enthusiasm, but that’s the kind of enthusiasm that can quickly lead you astray.
What we need is honesty. If you have a bad experience, then have a bad experience. Don’t try to dress it up for the masses just so you have something to tweet about today. Everyone will appreciate you for your candor. More importantly, everyone will trust you for it.