Defining your firm's social media personality online has a direct impact on lead generation. Engaging effectively via social media builds a relevant community of interested people and provides your organisation with a significant advantage. Not only will you get better results from your SEO (with Google now ranking on social influence and cues) but you will also generate more traffic from social media too. And, if you have great content to share with your visitors, more traffic will result in more leads.
Attracting and maintaining a community of social media followers and fans clearly depends on how your brand uses social media sites. Many companies think that social media is just another channel to advertise your brand. This is very wrong! Social media is an opportunity for your firm to build a community of active, interested people.
The catch? Earning that right. The concept is similar to a popularity contest. What makes some people more popular than others? Their personality. Here is a guide to how to win (or at least be a part of the social media popularity contest) by developing the right social media personality that appeals to your target buyers.
Which social media personality is your brand?
Poor Nina is too shy to go to social events. She struggles to make any friends.
When she does get dragged along to a party she is too nervous to start chatting to new people and get involved in conversations for fear of saying something stupid, or other people judging her. Quite often she is wrongly perceived as ignorant or rude.
But still, she stays inside her comfort zone, because it's easier, although she wishes she could be a bit more like Loud Lucy (you will meet her soon). Unfortunately, until she takes her first small steps, she will be stuck, at home, with no friends and no social life. Poor old Nina.
The lesson businesses can learn from Nervous Nina:
Your customers are going to be talking about you online whether you like it or not. Wouldn't you rather insert yourself into the conversation?
Too many businesses are terrified of participating online. Fears of saying something stupid and it becoming headline news, thanks to the well documented #epicfails of other well known companies. Unfortunately, just like Nina, if you don’t bite the bullet and start getting involved, you will also get left behind and live a very unfulfilling social life!
Similarly to Nina, your anxieties are holding you back, but the chances of you making a fool of yourself are slim. Even if you did... the chances of any one else caring that you have said something "foolish" are even slimmer. There's always an opportunity to clear up anything you've previously said. That's the beauty of social media - it's an ongoing conversation.
Arrogant Alex doesn’t listen to a word anybody says. He interrupts you with his incredibly boring stories about how brilliant he is at XY and Z and boasts about the latest awards he has won. I avoid Alex at all costs, as does everyone else, except his mother. Alex doesn’t understand why nobody wants to talk to him. After all, he is the most attractive and entertaining individual EVER. Strange. Maybe if he keeps telling them just how great he is, they will want to spend more time with him.
The lesson businesses can learn from Arrogant Alex:
This type of content has no place in social media (or anywhere else frankly.) Social media is about sharing information and knowledge that's helpful, educational, useful or entertaining - and your content is neither. Nobody who frequents a social network wants to tune in to adverts. Nobody cares about your opinion of your own product. Put it in the press release section of your site, or on your products page.
If you do a good job of servicing your current customers while giving prospective customers the information they crave, then you can leave the evangelising to your fans. The lesson here: don’t use your social media channels to talk about yourself all the time.
Boring Barry has nothing exciting to say about what's going on in the world. He repeats other people’s opinions, never has any of his own, and talks about stuff all his friends have heard before. If Barry realised that he needs to think about who he is talking to and what they are interested in, he would become much more exciting to talk to.
The lesson businesses can learn from Boring Barry:
Firms need to know their audience's problems and interests. Repeating basic industry insights might be interesting to people who are still very early in their buying journey, unaware of their problem. However, this wouldn't be helpful to those further along in their journey. It's old news. They will think of you...and yawn.
Centering the conversation around their interests (which depends on what buying stage they're at) will attract people to you. But you also have to keep them interested. That's why it's so important to have useful, relevant information for every buying stage - so that when they progress further with their purchasing decision, they still have a reason to tune in.
What's ironic is every company has interesting things to share with their audience, they just don’t realise it. How many staff members can offer your potential audience some great tips for solving their problems? Imagine how popular you could be if you shared this information with them online! Consider using social media to break down barriers between your team and your prospects and customers.
All of us know that one person that just won’t shut up. They tend to cause damage to the ears and a splitting headache. In fact, Lucy talks so much that everybody just switches off and stops listening. To save their sanity. Exhausting.
The lesson businesses can learn from Loud Lucy:
Some people (especially on Twitter) update their statuses 20 times a day. Nobody has something extraordinary to say that often. Not only will your audience stop listening, they will avoid you altogether by unfollowing / blocking / unsubscribing to all your noise.
You should prioritise quality over quantity. Release your social updates in drips, not blasts. Not only does this help you stay on your followers' good side, but you won't have to fear running out of things to say.
Claire gets it. She is just cool. Everyone likes her because she is helpful, a great listener and always has something interesting and entertaining to say. People trust her and when things go wrong they go to her for advice.
The lesson businesses can learn from Cool Claire:
Get to know what your audience wants, be helpful, intelligent and insightful. Be charismatic and entertaining. Listen, don't shout. Ask questions and promote conversations. Be kind and humble and over time you will earn and attract some good quality relationships online. These relationships are what Google uses to understand your online influence and rank your website pages accordingly. In addition to this, your social media reach will expand, resulting in more traffic, brand awareness and leads!
I would love to hear your thoughts. What do you think helps win the social media popularity contest online? What personality are you? Are you brave enough to own up!
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