Be human, have an opinion and search smart all sound like dating tips. Gotta have a game plan, right?
I know back in my dating years I was always honest whether my date liked it or not. Probably the reason why I didn’t date that much. Fast-forward to today; I’m a happily married husband with two beautiful kids, working at Voce Communications and those tips still apply to my job. When I work with clients on their content and communication strategy, I remind myself the reasons why I interact with brands. It’s not about whether they have a good offer but instead about the ability to develop a real relationship with them. Will they respond to my tweet? And if they respond, is it a robotic response or one that actually has some effort put into it? Read the below three guiding principles that I believe can change the way you run your social business:
- Be human – People follow brands because they are looking for that one to one engagement with a brand that they might not get otherwise. The content you publish and engage with needs to have a personality and human touch. I always recommend that brand publishers, through social media profiles, interact with prospects and customers in a conversational way. Imagine you are talking with them at Starbucks. Are you going to jam a product offering in their face right in the beginning or get to know them a bit first? The best way to be – or at least act – human is understand your audience and what motivates them within the framework of the customer buying cycle. Once you have a good understanding, work to spark an emotional connection. One post that I do at least once a week is ask my followers how can I help. It’s not about selling my product but about how I can introduce them to a contact, help them brainstorm on a problem, or give them a call just to talk. You’d be surprised at the those that want to engage with you and see the real human behind the corporate social account.
- Have an opinion – The best way people can get to know you is by understanding how you make decisions and what your opinions are about certain trending topics. Take a risk and write a blog post on LinkedIn or your own corporate blog and post a link to it via your social channels. Or the next time you RT a status update add your opinion to it. People value the latest news but even more if they can make an emotional connection with that person that is giving them the news. That starts with an opinion which yields in time will yield trust.
- Search smart – 25 years ago consumer opinions weren’t public and searchable because the web hadn’t gone social yet. You no idea what was trending in public conversation and relied upon surveys that were limited in actionable results and timeliness. Now with everyone posting their opinions, activities and immediate reviews publicly, brands have a better understanding of their audience in real-time by searching thru the public social data. If you are a social media manager you have two options: 1) Use Twitter search 2) Use a 3rd party vendor (I use Union Metrics (aka Tweetreach), SimplyMeasured or LittleBird depending on the project) to comb thru the data and find actionable insights. Like with any tool you use, it will take time to analyze and produce recommendations. If you have the budget, hire an analyst at your company that not only knows how to sift thru data but understands your audience and can turn that data into something actionable.
How are you being human in your social strategy?
- Are you engaging with your community in real-time?
- Have you approached your thought leadership in a new way?
- What thought leadership content sparked a real conversation?
- Have you a success story of hiring a business analyst?
Comment below or tweet @djksar #behuman.