Tuesday’s Tips: Have Fun with Social Media

Social media has been in the news a lot lately. Whether you love or hate the platforms, the reality is, when it comes to business – social media is absolutely imperative.

In fact, I’d even argue that questioning the importance of social media in a business environment is a bit like questioning a human’s need for oxygen. Social media isn’t an option – it’s a must.

Although social media is crucial to a business and its success, social media wasn’t actually designed for business. Each platform, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, was designed with the individual user in mind.

Whether it be Facebook, whose objective was to create a way for people to interact with their friends and family, or Instagram, whose goal was to design a photo sharing platform, the common denominator amongst all of these platforms centers around one central idea – fun.

Social media wasn’t intended to be a vomitorium of political posts and news articles. Instead, at its core, it was intended to be a fun place to socialize with friends, family, and perhaps even professional colleagues.

All that said, this begs the question – if social media was intended to be fun, why has social media gotten so stuffy? Why has social media turned into what feels like another news organization?

The answer varies. But the good news is – it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, if you want your business to be successful on social media platforms, it shouldn’t be. Instead, take social media for what it is – social. Loosen up, have fun with it, and follow these three simple tips:

1.  Talk with Your Audience, Not at Them:

If you want people to engage with you, whether it be via a like, share, or comment, you have to be willing to interact with them in return. Social media is literally called social media for a reason.

Aside from the thumbs up that you’ll receive from Facebook or Instagram’s algorithm (which is a plus, but a conversation for a later post), interacting with your users humanizes you. Rather than being the unapproachable brand, you’re now a brand that talks directly with its users.

That said, there’s two parts to being social. The first being, respond to users “likes” and “comments.” You can’t expect someone to interact with your posts, tweets, etc., if you’re unwilling to acknowledge them. It’s important you always comment back, and “like” their posts.

Second, don’t leave people on read. If someone sends you a message on social media, reply back to them. Thank them for their message, give them some feedback, or assist them. It doesn’t take much effort to do this, and overtime, it helps you set your brand aside as one that doesn’t see their customers as just a number.

2.  Don’t Be Afraid to Post Fun Content

You shouldn’t sound like a robot on social media. Think about it, would you want to read content that sounds like R2D2 wrote it? I know I, and most people, wouldn’t.

Don’t be afraid to have fun with social. Again, that’s the point of it in the first place. Feel free to post funny (and relevant) memes, reply to your customers with GIFs, and write in a way that doesn’t sound like R2D2 is on the keyboard. You don’t have to sound as if you’re writing a formal letter on social media, but instead should sound approachable and easy to connect with.

Lastly, touching on grammar, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Some people might disagree with me on this but, as long as you’re spelling correctly and using grade school grammar a majority of the time – you shouldn’t be afraid to start a sentence with “y’all,” or “and,” when appropriate.

3.  Use Your Heart

 Just as people share content that they’re emotionally invested in – family, friends, pets, etc., – you’re emotionally and personally invested in your business. Don’t be afraid to show that. Your existing and future customers will value knowing that you love and are invested in what you do.

Don’t be afraid to get on the camera. Talk about how you founded the company, why you founded the company, and what your goals are. Share what you’re comfortable sharing with your audience, such as pictures of your family or pets. And lastly, don’t be afraid to show emotions.

Show gratitude when you want to give thanks. Be humble but excited when your business takes a big step. And don’t be afraid to share when you’ve messed up. Owning mess-ups and committing to making them right, especially when a customer tags you in a post about one, only makes you a more engageable and accessible brand.