On our weekly show yesterday, The Social Truth, we talked for a little while on the differences between using social media personally and using it for your business/brand. Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, the show was not recorded, so I thought I’d give you a short recap of what we talked about.
I’ve personally encountered a lot of people recently who have been thrust into doing their employer’s social media because 1) they are young and 2) they know a little bit more than the next person. This is all well and good, except that most people’s understanding of social media comes from how they’ve used the various networks personally.
The reality, however, is that using social media for your business or brand has a few key differences that must be taken into account. If you are using the exact same strategies (if you have a strategy at all), you are missing out on the full power of using the social world for your marketing purposes.
- Personal. Here, it’s okay to simply share the old Twitter mantra “What are you doing?”. Your family, friends and coworkers may in fact be interested simply in what you’re up to that night. And they are definitely interested in pictures of your kids, kittens and kite-flying afternoons.
- Business. This is all about sharing content and giving value. Most of your updates will include links, or little nuggets of wisdom related to your industry. That’s why they are coming to you.
- Personal. Stick with what you like. Think of it more like a hobby. Love making videos? Dive in to YouTube, and try out Twitter later on. Are you a photographer? Stick to Flickr for now, and try out YouTube later. Don’t feel obligated to be on everything.
- Business. Have a footprint on all the channels you can reasonably handle. Obviously you don’t want to be overloaded, but you want to reach your intended audience where they are, and they probably aren’t all in one spot. We especially advocate for the Big 5: blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
- Facebook specifically
- Personal. You don’t have to reach out much. Here it’s okay to simply be a consumer and digest all the posts coming your way. Put smiley faces and “lols” on everything you like.
- Business. Get familiar with applications. You can literally do just about anything within a Facebook page that you’re able to do on a standard website. If you didn’t know that, you’re already behind. Do some research and know what they do. Also be intentional about reaching out and adding comments to other pages that add value to the people reading.
- Personal. It’s not crucial that you’re posting every single day multiple times. I am one who has a love-hate relationship with social media. Yesterday, for instance, I forgot to tweet altogether, and I get paid to do social media (Yikes! Am I fired?). At the end of the day, though, my friends/family/followers will come back to me because they have a real relationship with me.
- Business. Consistency is crucial. If you’re not posting every day, your audience is finding a similar company who is. I guarantee it. There are tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that allow you to do this if you have to be out for a few days. Make it a priority to share fresh content at least once or twice every single day.
A couple last points. You want to make sure to clean up your own social media once you become in charge of business or branded accounts. Go ahead and delete some of those old college photos, and clean up the language as well. This doesn’t mean don’t have fun, it just means be a little more aware of what you are posting and the people who might see it.
You also want to make sure you have a strategy for jumping into social media for business use. Read some books and take a look at the companies who are doing it really well. Have defined goals and ways of measuring those goals, just like you would with any other marketing or advertising strategy.
Using social media for yourself may be intuitive, but it’s almost certainly not intuitive when you are doing it for a business or brand. If you have questions or comments, drop ‘em below…or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well!