Why do people swear?
Swearing among friends can invoke a sense of trust and bonding.
It establishes an air of familiarity and group identity.
It feels raw, authentic, and passionate.
Plus, it can be funny and it gets people’s attention.
So, it makes sense that you find a lot of business owners and influencers on social media these days who are not afraid to get a little casual when delivering their content.
They cuss. They get playful. They get flirty. They get raunchy.
All in the name of building rapport with their target audience.
If it works in social situations, it should work on social media, right?
So the question is… should you swear on social media?
That’s up to you, the business owner to decide. But, there are 3 considerations I want you take in before you make that decision…
1. Take authenticity out of the equation
Trying to be someone or something you’re not is only going to resonate with an audience that is not in alignment with your core values and who you really are as a person.
Doing this is a recipe for disaster.
To avoid this, some entrepreneurs feel that if they are a certain way in their personal lives, they should be the same way on social media.
They feel like it keeps things real.
And, we are definitely seeing a trend – particularly when it comes to video content – where raw, unpolished footage can compete with slickly edited, expensive studio shoots.
But… hold on just a second.
What does being authentic really mean, anyway?
Are you exactly the same way with your child as you are with your partner? Or with your child’s teacher or with your doctor? Or with the girls/guys on a night out?
One would hope that you’re always respectful and mindful in any situation, but chances are that you’re not exactly the same.
And, that’s okay.
It doesn’t mean you are being fake or insincere.
It doesn’t mean you’re not being authentic or keeping it real.
It means you’re a multi-faceted being and you adjust yourself accordingly to the audience you’re serving.
Every different version of you is authentic.
Therefore, you need to throw away the idea that you’re swearing in your social media content only because it’s more authentic.
All the versions of you are authentic. Therefore, the question of authenticity is irrelevant.
2. Consider your target audience
Whenever you are creating social media content, you have to take your audience into consideration.
If they can’t relate to you or your message, your content is an epic fail.
So, before you decide to swear on your social media content, ask yourself if it will appeal to them.
Because, maybe it will or maybe it won’t.
Maybe it will make them feel like you’re just “one of them”. Or, maybe it will enable your spontaneity and passion shine through.
Even then, you don’t just want to be likeable and appealing to your target audience – you want to come across as someone they want to do business with, too.
You need to be relatable, but also trustworthy and reliable.
If you handle large amounts of money on behalf of your clients, or negotiate for them, or handle sensitive situations, you will need to be likeable AND present yourself as dependable.
So, take your audience into consideration when you are presenting content.
You’re not compromising yourself by checking your language – you are still being an authentic version of yourself that is both appealing and reliable.
3. Consistency is key
Whatever you decide – whether it’s to cuss or not – the key is to remain consistent.
If you waffle, and you’re one way one day on social media, and then another way the next, your brand will suffer.
Your audience won’t know who you are anymore, and that will damage your rapport with them.
That’s when you will lose their trust and confidence.
It’s up to you to decide what tone you want to have in your social media content, but for the benefit of your business, you need to make sure you stay faithful to that decision.
Some entrepreneurs are very casual on their social media content – they use swear words, the might be playful and flirty, or they might exhibit a raunchy sense of humor. This is often because the business owner wants to appear familiar and relatable, as well as come across as authentic to their social media audience. After all, being authentic will attract the audience that is right for you and it will make you appear more trustworthy and reliable. However, there are 3 things to consider when deciding if it’s okay to swear in your social media content. First of all, watching your language on social media when you’re known for dropping the occasional cuss word in social situations doesn’t make you less authentic. It just means you’re multi-faceted and you’ve chosen a version of yourself that is appropriate to your audience. Second, always consider your audience and their comfort level. While it’s important that they like you – which they might if you swear, because it makes you seem familiar to them – you may not be inspiring them to trust you with their business, depending on the situation. Finally, whatever you decide – to cuss or not to cuss – it is vital that you remain consistent, because if your branding falters with inconsistencies, you will confuse your audience and it will damage the rapport you have built with them.