Friendship is a human need. The word social comes from the Latin word for friend. So, at its core, being social is about connection.
Being social requires creating real connections and engaging with one another. Sharing experiences and knowledge builds relationships and communities.
Most businesses today are on social media; it’s a valuable space for developing brand personality and connecting with customers. But can we stay social on social channels and market at the same time?
Here are five tips to help keep your social content social.
1. Show off your brand’s personality
Personal interaction is the heart of social communication. So, you don’t want to come across as a faceless corporation. Instead of solely sharing sales content, let your audience get to know you. People are more likely to support brands they relate to over those that are only selling.
- Let your audience know your values.
- Let them see behind the scenes of your organization.
- Do you support any causes or host any charity events? Let people know how your company gives back to the community.
- Let them see the face behind your brand.
Real people give your brand an authentic personality. Share photos of your team in action. Include staff’s stories as well; it can show how their values align with the brand. You could even have them spotlight their favorite products. For example, a salon could share a stylist, their favorite products, and hairstyle of the week using Instagram and Facebook.
2. Include customers in your brand’s story
Excellent brand storytelling is not only about your company. It’s about your customers—and the value your product or service adds to their lives. GoPro has successfully used its Instagram account to tell its customers’ stories. They curate user-generated content through their Photo of the Day and Video of the Day contests. Their customers participate in the brand’s story by sending in impressive GoPro shots and videos. The payoff: GoPro’s Instagram page has over 16 million followers, and their photos get hundreds of thousands of likes.
3. Host AMA sessions
AMAs (ask me anything) are Q&A sessions where you share your knowledge, experience, and insight. It’s a chance to provide a friendly, low-pressure atmosphere while reaching current and potential customers. Sharing your brand’s stories are also a great way to engage your audience. Like any compelling story, you want to share your struggles and triumphs. Hosting AMAs lets a brand:
- Raise brand awareness without sounding pushy
- Show off their personality
- Learn about their audience’s interests and issues
4. Focus on responding
Although increasing business is your goal, your social media presence doesn’t need to be about the hard sell. Instead, answer your followers’ questions through timely replies and content. If a few of your followers are commenting on a specific issue, you can craft content that addresses it head-on. Offering solutions to problems—instead of steadily plugging products—proves your company’s expertise. It can also earn lasting customers.
5. Share relevant posts
Promoting like-minded companies and sharing clients’ posts is a great content idea. It shows that you are part of a dialogue—and not just filling feeds with self-promotion. Share a client’s successes, especially if it relates to your brand’s story. As well, be part of the conversation in your industry or community: share some industry knowledge or neighborhood news. It shows your brand is community-minded and part of a bigger picture. It also starts conversations and builds relationships.
Keep the conversation going:
- Always @mention the people you refer to in your posts
- Comment on industry and followers’ posts
- Comment when people @mention you or share your content
It’s easy for brands to get caught up in pushing their products and services on social channels. But engaging with customers and posting exciting stories maintains brand personality—and it keeps your social media presence social.