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Consistency

by Randall Craig on October 12, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Branding, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Promotion, Social Media, Time management

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How often have you struggled to show up on time for a meeting, only to be kept waiting as others stumbled in 5-10-15 minutes later? Or have you ever tuned in to your favorite TV show, only to find that it was “rescheduled” for some other time? Or travelled to a faraway store, but finding it had closed an hour early and you couldn’t get in.

Research (Berry & Parasuraman) shows that by far, the two most important determinants of service quality are responsiveness and reliability. If you are not reliable nor responsive, your “brand” quickly reflects this. And you agitate those around you.

While most of us understand this implicitly in the real world, our behavior in the Social Media world is often completely different. Several ways to be more reliable and responsive when being “Social” online:

  • Choose a consistent date and time to post your blog and status updates. If people come to expect a weekly post from you, skipping a week hurts your credibility. As does posting at a variable date and time. If they expect an update by 9am, then you need to deliver it at 9am, consistently.  Don’t show up late.
  • Set your topic focus. People will come to expect your posts… to be what you post. If you’re always posting on random topics, then those who are looking for your deep expertise (or unique perspective), will become disinterested and leave. If they expect certain content, then you need to deliver it, consistently.  Your favorite TV show is your favorite because all of the characters are consistent from episode to episode.
  • Set expectations for how often you respond. Do you respond or comment on all posts, some, or none? Whatever your frequency, you also need to deliver it consistently.

This week’s action plan:  Your reputation is defined more by what you actually do – your behavior – than anything else.  If you are using any Social tools (status updates on Facebook, Twitter updates, Blog posts, etc), calendarize your interaction.  Not only will you become more productive, but you’ll also directly affect your reputation.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

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