This week I’ve been thinking about a phrase I read in an article about using social media for business: “social snapshot.” It got me thinking about social media and business, how we’re using social media in business, how our customers are using social media and what social media is all about and I thought I’d share a few of those thoughts with you today.
As you’ve probably heard me say before social media is all about being social. The entire point of social media is to share with friends, family, associates etc. what’s going on in your life, what matters to you, things you’re enjoying, what’s frustrating/concerning you in the world etc. So as a business it’s important to do more than just promote your offerings, because that’s not what people are interested in experiencing when they interact with you on social media. Should you include sharing about your offerings? Yes, but it has to be mixed with more social content like advice, experiences, interviews, and fun. As an aside, a big part of that social experience is to be talking with others, so make sure you’re responding to everything people are putting on your page (and if it’s negative either respond appropriately or delete, block and make a note about your preferred page experience).
When you’re using social media as a business you want to put up content that your customers, fans, potential customers and potential fans would find fun, interesting, helpful or share-worthy. Share-worthy can include things that are scary/worrisome/shocking as well as positive/feel-good, and usually has a story behind it. So when you’re considering your social strategy and content plan it’s important to take into consideration not only what you’re selling but what matters to your fans around what you’re selling. For example, don’t just think about the hammer you’re trying to sell, think about the picture that they’re trying to hang with your hammer.
Finally, going back to the phrase for today “social snapshot” I want to talk a tiny bit about how most social networks technically function and what that means for your business. First of all, most people aren’t going to your page/account on the social network, they’re getting your content in their newsfeed so they’re only seeing a tiny portion of who you are and what you’re all about at a given time. If you’re not familiar with social media for most of the social sites they use an algorithm to determine what content is seen by people. What this primarily means is that not all content is seen. It also means that content isn’t seen in order of publishing, things from 3 days ago might be the first things you see when you sign in because the algorithms have determined it to be more important that what’s been published in the 3 days since then. What it means for you as a business is that at any point in time your fans may be seeing content from your page and it might not be your most recent post. This isn’t a suggestion to go back and delete posts, but rather to be very conscious about what you’re posting and make sure that it always presents your brand in the way you want it presented. If you have to choose putting your best foot forward and creating less content but content that’s better created, or creating so much (partially decent) content you’re everywhere and you blow up the internet, because people only see a small portion of your business through the social network it’s better to go with less but better content.
The second thing to consider when talking about your “social snapshot” is the importance of completely filling out your account on the social network. This means having a nice photo for your account that shows up next to your posts, a helpful description in the about section or on the about page (take advantage of the space you’re given, if you can provide more information you should), and a helpful and descriptive picture for the header/cover section if that’s an option. If you get lucky enough that people do come back to your little piece of real estate on a social network, you want to provide the best experience possible to your visitors. It’s much like how you want to make your physical store or website to look inviting and how you want them to get all they can out of connecting with you. This may sound like a silly or overly obvious thing to do, but more often than not one or all 3 of these things aren’t what they could or should be on the social accounts I see.
Have you tried social media for your business? If so what are the things you’ve learned and what have your customers responded to best?