For this week’s Work Wednesday I want to share a reminder that many in social media, or businesses using social media, have forgotten. Social media is just that – SOCIAL!
While I use social media to promote my own blog, share sponsored information, and use it for my business in general – I do really try to remain SOCIAL as well. The reason that social networks have been so popular is that it is a place for people to connect. Yes, brands can use it – but it is the people that work at those brands who are really being social, not the brand itself. The “sort-of” exception is when a brand has a mascot and the social media accounts are in that mascots name like the Energizer Bunny, Chester Cheetah, etc. Still though, in essence it is a person behind the mascot.
Whether you are a blogger and you are your brand or your working for a company doing their social media all of the following tips can really apply. These are all things you can do to continue to be social and not just become a billboard on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Asking questions on a social network can really help you interact with others. Simple questions even like “coffee or tea?” or “morning person or night person?” are great conversation starters. You can simply ask “what’s for dinner?” even. Not everyone will answer, but the more regularly you ask the more they will answer. Some will have short and sweet answers, but others will offer you much more. Once they answer you, be sure to reply to them again. These questions do NOT (and should not always) have to be about your brand.
Regular people and other brands also pose questions on social networks. Watch for them and join in the conversation too. No advertising, just simply answer the question and reply to a few of the other answers you see too commenting on things that catch your attention personally.
Everyday and Ordinary is Not Mundane
Because social networks are about people connecting the everyday and ordinary things in life are actually not mundane. What the are is relatable. They are a way for you to connect to your followers. An example would be just commenting on the weather – anyone can talk about the weather. Have you seen Twitter when there is a snowstorm hitting somewhere?
Celebrate Victories of Others
Watch your followers and friends on your social networks and celebrate their victories with them. Did someone post how proud they are that their dog completed doggy training class? Is a follower celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary? Even something like someone sharing that they completed a tough workout that morning is worthy of a congrats or way to go from you. Again, no advertisements included, just be social when you interact.
Cute and Funny Photos
Sharing photos on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumbler are especially great ways to connect with others. Cute and funny seem to get the best view rate. If you are sharing pictures of your kids you do not want to be including advertising all the time – don’t pimp out your kids (it happens, be careful). Just share, not sell. If you have interesting pictures that seem to tell a story ask for others to come up with a caption for it. Nothing too serious, just for fun. Again, you are just being social.
Tell a Joke
Know your audience with the kind of jokes you tell, but do tell them. Everyone loves a little giggle now and then. I personally like very silly jokes and share them on Twitter when I hear them. No other reason than to share my amusement with others.
Ask For Help/Advice
While we tend to focus on providing answers and tips on whatever our area is to our readers/followers, do not be afraid to ask for help and advice from them too. Again, focus on being you – a real person. Do you have a party coming up at the boss’s house and you are not sure what kind of hostess gift to bring, ask on any of your networks. You will be amazed at how helpful others can be.
Let’s face it – everyone eats. This does not mean you have to share every single thing you eat, but if you have food that looks particular delicious or decadent snap a pic and put it out there. This is not the same as sharing a recipe post you have on your blog – remember you are being social, not advertising with these tips.
Share Your Area of Interest
Post a photo, video, or whatever of your general area of interest. If you are a clothing company you can share photos of trends or ideas that are not on your own blog or not that you sell, but just things your readers and followers probably will be interested in too. Again, no linking to something of your own that you are promoting, just sharing interests with friends.
Like, Repin, Retweet, etc.
Finally, be sure to use social networking tools to let others know you are there seeing and reading what they post. You do not always have to say something in words, just giving that thumbs up sometimes says a lot.
Do you have any other tips on being SOCIAL in social media for your brand?[signoff]
© 2013, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.