It’s our instinct, as business owners, is to be professional at all times. We dress professionally, act professionally and speak and write professionally in order to portray the right image to prospective clients. Earning their trust, so that they will ultimately buy our products and services.
This is business 101. So it’s only natural that we would do the same when portraying our business online.
The problem is that the online world is different. Yes, it’s important to maintain our professional image, but being too corporate and business-like can actually be detrimental to your online marketing.
We need to take a step back and think “why do people use social media”?
To connect with other people.
Social media is all about having conversations. If you’re hiding behind a faceless brand and never letting your audience see the real person behind the business, then they won’t engage with you. Why would they start a conversation with you when they don’t know who you are?
And engagement is key. These days, simply “liking” a page isn’t enough to guarantee that you will see all their posts in your newsfeed. Facebook, in particular, has put heavy emphasis on engagement in their most recent algorithm updates so that only the posts with the most likes and comments make it into the newsfeed. This makes it all the more crucial that we are posting content that people identify with and that grabs their attention.
Understandably, the idea of putting our “personal” selves out there on our business pages is a daunting one. It seems contradictory to almost everything we know about being in business. But the lines between personal and business on social media have become more and more blurred, which we must accept and embrace, in order to be successful online.
Putting more “you” into your posts and creating a personal connection with your fans and followers means they are much more likely to take notice when you have something important to say about your business, whether its a new product, service or promotional offer.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas for personal posts that generate engagement:
- Personal stories – People love to read stories that they can relate to, it helps them get to know you better and builds a relationship
- Struggles – Sharing your challenges and struggles in business and how you overcome them is a great way to connect with people. Ask them for advice, and encourage them to comment with their own challenges
- Successes – Share your personal or business successes, whether its a new contract, an award or a testimonial from a client. Posts like this often generate lots of engagement, which in turn expands your reach.
- Photos – These could be “behind the scenes” or “day in the life” style pics from within your business, photos from events you attended or even from your spare time.
- Opinion posts – Sharing your opinion about a hot topic can be a great way to get the conversation flowing! Just be careful not to be too controversial and know where to draw the line.
- Funny posts – Showing your sense of humour by sharing funny memes, photos, cartoons, jokes and quotes is another good way to humanise your online marketing and show that there’s a real person behind the business.
Of course, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that we are a business altogether; sharing only personal or non-business related posts won’t work either, so it is important to strike the right balance.
The 80/20 rule is perfect for social media marketing. It’s easy to follow and will help you to keep your audience engaged whilst still allowing you to market your product or service.
With this rule, your business will share posts that are personal, interesting, entertaining or informative 80% of the time, and the remaining 20% will be dedicated to the promotion of your brand.
Remember, people buy from people. Stepping out of your comfort zone and putting a little more “you” into your social media will allow your followers to get to know you as a person, making them more likely to buy from you in the future.