Social Media: It’s Not Just a Numbers Game

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It’s great to have a large following, but the numbers aren’t as important as you think. The way we behave on social media has evolved since its creation, and your business strategy should too. Here’s what you need to know about presenting yourself on social media and what new metrics you should be thinking about.

The “fine line” between personal and professional use in social media seems to have widened. Brands and companies have tried to dehumanize their social media accounts, but it’s possible that’s done more harm than good. Let’s turn to this example challenging that separation, by humanizing their brand online.

Think back to a few years ago, to this viral Twitter exchange:

Perhaps you haven’t forgotten about it, (I couldn’t if I tried). There’s a reason for that. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this approach was highly tactical. Wendy’s reminded us that behind every social media account, there is a person. And this particular person found beautiful irony in “starting beef” with their customers.

Businesses on social media have become robotic through carefully calibrated ads and impersonal transactions. On personal accounts, we express ourselves free of boundary. When we speak on behalf of our business, however, we follow a long list of imaginary rules that guide how we behave on social media. Why is that?

It might seem natural to utilize social media exclusively to promote your products and services, but the truth is this: people want to connect with other people.

Wendy’s Twitter exchange caught so much attention because it was relatable; the company communicated online just as people do offline. Marketing is forever changing, and the “norms” of business marketing have shifted to fit the current social sphere. As we’ve moved online in many aspects of life, the need for strong voices has risen exponentially. Consumers are attracted to companies communicating a compelling story in a way that is familiar.

While meant to be a community for interaction and sharing, social media has quickly become a battle of “who has the most followers.” But your high follower count will mean nothing if they ignore your existence. That’s why we must make the change to capitalize on the followers we do have, and lean into our online communities. Here are three easy tweaks to your social media strategy that will humanize your business online:

Engage with your audience

This is often said, but rarely done. When you get comments, respond to them! It’s common sense to interact with others in the social sphere, and your business account should be no exception. Building a relationship requires communication, so don’t shy away from it. A responsive and transparent company is one that can be trusted.

Create a tone

“Professional” isn’t cutting it. Being well-spoken and knowledgeable in your industry is a must, so set your business apart from others through personality. Use GIFs and memes, why not? Your company is made up of people, and humanizing your promotions will help your audience connect to your content. Give your followers a sense of what it’s like to work with you on a personal level.

Post outside of the content box, it’s too small

Research shows that posting too much promotional content can be a turn-off for audiences. Our lives are saturated with advertisements, and too much from your social media page will quickly be overlooked and unfollowed. Don’t be afraid to add personal touches to your content calendar in addition to your products and services. It’s not irrelevant. In fact, it shows that your company wants to connect with those on the receiving end. Show off your team, events you’ve attended, or activities you’ve done in the office.

Relationships are formed through conversation; when you focus on having genuine conversations, online success comes naturally. There are no real rules to having a presence online, so have fun with it.

Here’s to never questioning if there’s a person behind the screen, ever again. *clink*