Does it seem to you like businesses that are outgoing get all the followers on social media?
It does seem like those that are outgoing have more friendships. They’re fueled by engagement with others. They are fueled by relationships.
People that are on the other side of things are fueled by being alone. They do need relationships and they cherish those relationships, but being with people can wear on them after awhile and they have to recharge the batteries.
With businesses, bit can be challenging to be outgoing on social media. It might be that the business is introverted by nature. Those that started it are more introverted and it’s not natural to be outgoing on social media.
It can also come from fear. It’s the fear of being outgoing on social media and getting some pushback from people. That’s a legitimate fear. You see a business try to be outgoing on social media and do it the wrong way and things can hit the fan.
But the reality is that social media can help your business. It can help you connect with new people that can become customers. And if you want to make those connections it’s good to have a personality. It’s the same as in real life.
Approach social media as if you’re connecting with people in real life. It’s the same thing. And if you think about it like that there are a few ways you can show your personality without being disingenuous and crazy outgoing.
Here are some of those ways.
Tip #1. Be Vulnerable
I don’t mean that you want to be open all the time with everyone. That can turn people off.
Think about when you first meet someone. There are natural barriers to what you’re going to tell them. You kind of feel each other out, but it does involve the idea of trust and vulnerability.
You have to be open to getting to know people and letting them get to know you. That’s really what being vulnerable is about. It’s about letting people get to know you. They’ll ask questions and if you answer it can lead to relationships.
I think it’s important to go through life giving people the benefit of the doubt. Most people generally want to have relationships with others. They want to get to know people and they want to get to know you.
That’s why social media has been wonderful in many ways. It’s allowed people to connect without location being an issue. It’s not perfect, but there are positives.
And it starts with being open to letting people get to know you. That’s where your personality can start to come through.
Tip #2. Share Stories
I think one of the simplest ways to show your personality is to tell stories.
If you’re a business, tell the story of how you started the company. Tell stories from the early days when you were struggling and really trying to figure things out.
Tell stories now about how you worked on a recent project. People will pick up on the details and they’ll connect with you. You’re showing the personality of the business and really of the people behind the business.
I don’t remember where I read it, but I read a story about the start of Lucasfilm. I think it was an Oral History and all these people were talking about the lead up to the Star Wars release in May 1977. A few months before the album Rumours by Fleetwood Mac was released and all these folks were working in a building trying to get all the graphics ready for the movie and they would play that album over and over.
It was a little peek behind the scenes and you kind of get a glimpse of what the personality was of these people. And they weren’t trying to show their personality. They were just sharing simple stories.
Found it. That history of ILM.
Tip #3. Talk About Others
If you’re not comfortable talking about yourself then talk about others.
Tell stories of your customers or let them share their stories. Also share stories of businesses you work with or the people within your business.
Some of the best posts on social media are interviews with employees. It allows people a little glimpse behind the scene at the people that make the business happen.
People buy a product or service from a business, but they really know that they’re buying it from the people behind the business. And they’re curious about that process and about the people.
Tip #4. Use Different Media
If you’re not comfortable with words on social media then try different types of media. There are a number of brands or business doing great things on social media with GIFs, images, video and other forms of media.
You could start a podcast or get into using SnapChat. Maybe you want to use Instagram instead of sharing tweets on Twitter. There are a number of businesses that would much rather share daily photos than a text update.
And people love photos and a variety of media. The used up saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words. So instead of trying to write a witty update simply take a photo and let people dissect what’s going on.
Final Thought: Setting Constraints
For a final thought I do think it’s good to set some self constraints. There might be topics that you want to avoid on social media. In general, discussion of politics, religion and a few other things are best left off the table.
A good rule of thumb is that if you were meeting someone new and a topic would lead to a bad outcome then you probably wouldn’t want to talk about it on social media. If you’re starting out on social media then treat it like you’re meeting people for the first time. Over time you’ll get followers that will have followed you for a long time, but even then you can continue to treat it like a new relationship. You can share new stories and share things that will make the connection stronger.
But it’s good to have some constraints on social media just as it’s good to have constraints in real life.