The Human Side of Social Media

Imagine meeting someone at a networking event or party and, for the 10mins you are stood in front of them, all they do is talk about themselves. They spend an age sharing pictures of their car, house, holiday, work, etc and not once do they ask about you or even show they care. You are just a pair of eyes and ears there to give this person airtime. It is not an attractive scenario, is it? There is a good chance you have experienced something remarkably similar yourself and, when thinking back on it, does not create fond memories.

Now take a closer look at your social media activity. Are you guilty of the same self-focused activity (look at my products, blog, awards, etc)? Does your content show you care about your audience? Are you asking them “how they are”?

Just as consumers have their favourite social networks and several ways of finding accounts to follow, they also have an array of reasons for following brands on social media. A report shows that people follow brands to learn about new products and to be inspired, educated, entertained, and more. There is no single reason why people follow brands online. I will bet that you did not sign up to Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, etc just to give others the privilege and opportunity to sell to you. Not only that, but no one else did either.

Let your website do the selling for you and let people find your website by learning about you through social media. And let people learn about you on social media because you care, listen, and engage with a clearly defined audience.

It Is Okay to Self-Promote on Social Media

While posting organic content on social media is free, the time businesses spend on it is not. Therefore, it is prudent to know why and how social media can benefit the business, and this can be linked to marketing goals and business growth. Then, posting questions, images, conversations, polls, infographics, etc will have a clearer purpose.

However, that is only half of the story. The other half is the answer to this question: Why should someone follow you? What is in it for them? Consciously or sub-consciously, your audience will be asking themselves these questions when they come across your channels, which means you will need to have proved you are proactively answering the question before they do.

Whether it is B2B or B2C, your posts are written by a human and will, if they go well, be read by humans too. For all the algorithms and analytics, social media is a human tool rather than a data tool. And your focus needs to remain on this fact, or your business risks being the boring person at a party or networking event that social media users actively try to avoid.

What About You?

How do you get to know your audience better? What comments do you look to recieve from them? I’d love to know, so please email me or connect on Linkedin.

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