Imagine you’re at a party. It’s busy, with lots of different conversations bubbling away in pockets of the room.
The hostess is doing a bang-up job of introducing people with little tidbits of information.
“This is Bob,” she says. “He works in finance and likes rugby. Bob, this is Sarah, she likes rugby too and works in London for a tech startup.” Off go Bob and Sarah, talking about England’s recent win over Australia, how lovely the party is and the best way to build a monthly forecast.
There are discussions like this happening all over, ranging from the insightful and hilarious to the lowbrow and daft.
Now, imagine you get stuck talking to someone who only wants to talk about his recent promotion, how much money he makes, his fashion collection and what car he’s going to buy next.
All this person can talk about is himself. He’s not listening to a word you’re saying, not asking about your interests, and not contributing to any of the other conversations happening around him.
If you’re not careful, that could be you on social media.
The dangers of self-obsession
It’s not hard to find examples of this problem on various social channels – brands stuck on broadcast mode and oblivious to the world around them.
But are you sure that you’re not doing it, too?
How many news events did you participate in discussions about this week? How many blog posts did you tweet about that weren’t written for your own company blog? Do you regularly check your engagement stats to see what your audience best responds to?
Always remember that social media is a two-way street. It’s easy to forget that you don’t just need to be good at producing and promoting content, but also a strong conversationalist and a great listener to succeed on social.
Does your company actively use social listening tools to learn more about your audience and what they’re talking about? Do you keep an ear out for what they’re saying about you and your brand? If you’re not doing these things, you should be.
Your audience has many other ways to spend their time online, so make sure you put in the effort needed to catch their eye and show them that you have something interesting and worthwhile to say.
Making the right impression
Let’s go back to that party, if you’re still not convinced.
Imagine you walk up to a group of people mid-discussion, and they make a space for you. But rather than contributing something relevant to the conversation, you start talking about something completely unrelated that only makes sense to you.
Is anyone at that party going to find you interesting and want to carry on engaging with you, or are they more likely to avoid coming into contact with you again for the rest of the night?
The same concept applies when it comes to making a positive impression on social media and building relationships with your audience.
- Try to content-blend, not content-broadcast. Make sure you’re sharing other people’s content when it’s industry-relevant. It keeps you interesting and encourages people to reciprocate.
- Don’t jump into conversations just because they’re trending, Make sure they’re relevant to who you are as a brand and the industry you’re working in.
- Social listening is not just a marketing fad. It’s the difference between having finely calibrated wind measuring equipment, and licking your finger and pointing at the sky.
- People want to talk to other people, not faceless brands. Show some personality; empower your staff to be brand ambassadors and put them front and centre on social media.
- Try to avoid automated tweeting and lazily reposting headlines. Your audience wants to hear what you think, so what’s your take? What do you have to contribute?
If you’re looking for help with breathing new life into your social media marketing, contact Axonn to see what we have to offer.