Finding Balance on Social Media

August 7, 2015 JAlfonso 1 comment

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I realize the title is somewhat deceptive. This blog isn’t about time management. It is about balancing our message on social media. Perhaps I should explain.

In the past Emily and I have posted issues or questions on social media that somehow morphed into unpleasant debates which have never been our intention. This has caused me to think about why this happens and how to find balance in our wording so as to achieve our desired result.

Social media is an incredible tool. It is fantastic for marketing and gaining unprecedented access to possible customers. It also allows us to tap into our national and global tribe of colleagues.

This permits us to discuss issues we might be having with experienced and insightful interpreters or translators. We can bring up anything from sales and marketing, customer service, problem solving, what to charge, how to negotiate, ethics, and even seek advice on how to best render a word we are having difficulty with. It offers us a chance to collaborate and even provide others assistance when needed. There is a dark side, however. Remember that unfriendly exchange among colleagues?

Recently Emily sought advice on how to respond to potential clients who attempt to substantially lower our fees. In an effort to provide sufficient context, she also mentioned the fee amounts. At first, it all began well with comments that revolved around the issue posted. Then someone had a problem with the fee amount mentioned, thinking it was much too high. This caused others to then begin expressing how much they charge and defending their fee as reasonable. Much like liberals and conservatives take opposing stands on differing issues, the thread became a lightning rod topic on fees although that wasn’t the original intent. After a while, the entire thread was removed by the moderators and rightfully so. That particular association has a policy of not discussing fees and is located in a country subject to antitrust laws.

For this reason, I believe that before posting, it is important to give thought to wording. We should think about our audience and how they potentially might respond. Carefully wording what we say will not eliminate ugly debates, but it could at least limit them. Also, debate isn’t a bad thing, as long as it is done respectfully. Sadly, some folks who are very nice in person, seem to get internet road rage.

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In a future blog I will discuss the issue of whether or not we should be talking about fees. I believe that balance can be struck on this subject as well.

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