There is an old saying probably invented by a PR hack in 1950s New York. It goes: “If you don’t tell your story then somebody else will.” I ran across it  in a post by Justine Musk; if you haven’t read her Blog then head on over she’s brilliant, but that’s another story and I digress. 

The quote is as true today as it was when it was first minted and the notion that “it’s your story go tell it” struck a chord in the social media music box that lately has become my mind. You see, there are too many opportunities within the socialverse today for your customer to tell your story for you - and get it all wrong. 

Products like Angie’s List, Yelp, Open Table, Four Square allow the customer to start a conversation about you. Positive word-of-mouth advertising is wonderful; a mediocre rating or unflattering commentary can be damning.

How do you control the damage once you’ve been tagged mediocre?  What do you do if the social conversation relegates you to a niche you never intended to occupy? It’s impossible to control the social conversation. So what’s the strategy?

Be the first to frame the conversation.

Extend your web presence through social media. Stake a claim to your corporate name on Facebook and LinkedIn. Microblog with Twitter and/or Tumblr . Develop an entrepreneurial persona by blogging passionately about topics related to your areas of expertise. Carve and occupy the niche you choose, build your social brand. 

The only way to keep others from telling your story incorrectly is to be there months ahead of them with the twenty-four carat gold original.