I've always liked this time of year; the 'back to work' feeling has energy and excitement in it. I've even heard two Coalition spokemen saying that "the Government is back after the Summer break and fizzing with ideas".
Yes, both spokesmen used the word "fizzing"; no doubt thought up by the Government spin masters.
But it at least sounds good, and gives a sense of energy, activity and expectation. But for most casual observers of politics, words are not enough. The people want action to back it up. Actions speak louder than words and all that.
I work with many businesses in highly regulated environments and professional services. A lot of them are intensely nervous about using Social Media; their main concern being that they will say something online that might not be 'compliant'. Quite a few have even resorted to using pre-approved words and phrases in their social updates which presumably their Compliance officer won't get upset about.
This implies that many businesses in regulated industries see Social Media as predominantly a sales and marketing tool, so if they are going to use Social Media then they have to get the words right in case it's seen as a financial promotion or official advice.
What many of these businesses forget (or don't yet know), is that Social Media is not entirely all about sales and marketing, and that it can be used in a variety of different ways - even in regulated businesses.
One of those ways is to create perception about yourself and your business. One perception that has great value is that of activity; that you are in fact busy, open for business, helping customers, sharing expertise and best practice, networking, hosting seminars, adding value, giving client presentations, connecting people and yes "fizzing" with ideas.
None of these activities should remotely begin to raise the eyebrow of a compliance officer - whatever industry you are in. They are all valuable and healthy activities that all businesses, large and small should be engaging in.
Use Social Media to share your day-to-day activity. Show that you are alive, thriving and passionate about what you do and making things happen.
That of course assumes you are indeed alive and active. If you're not, you're probably heading for trouble and no amount of faking it will make a difference to your prospects.
Social Media need not be a problem for regulated and professional service businesses; use it to give people a window into your world and what you're doing. Show them that you're positively fizzing with ideas and activity, and that in itself will prove to be one of your best sales and marketing tools.
Philip Calvert is hosting a special one day workshop on Social Media and Conversational Marketing for financial services product providers on 19th September 2012 in London. Click here for details.