Not Who You Know or Who Knows You but Who Likes You!?

I think some new definitions and thinking are in order for continued successful business branding via Social Networking sites these days. I reckon it’s time to go back to basics.

Dead to me are the people who post the same kinda boring business stuff in a never ending, automated looking stream. 52 ways to do this, 25 tips for doing that..it’s presumed we all have the time to read through a pile of shite like that when all we need is the one best way! A lot of people who post in this way are one way only, ie – they don’t converse or reply half the time or at all and to me they violate the very definition of “Social Networking”, ie – to BE SOCIABLE & INTERACT.

Perhaps larger, corporate companies can be expected to post in this way, after all it would be kinda hard for them to become ‘friendly’ with you and people probably wouldn’t expect it but for small companies and sole traders in particular, I think they should be selling themselves and creating valuable relationships far more than pushing their products.

So how do you sell yourself? Ever tried making a friend online or off? That’s all you need to do really. The kind of stuff that most people think is utter drivel on Facebook or Twitter, ie – what you had for dinner, pics of your pets, etc..is precisely the kind of stuff that people SHOULD be posting I think. There’s a more limited audience for your business stuff but the larger populace can all identify with food, pets, kids, current affairs, topical stuff etc so why not post about the average everyday stuff people do and think about? I bet you’ll get more interaction from more people.

Which is more interesting and likely to create interaction & connection?

What's More Interesting?

 

I’ll use myself as a case study. From the start of my social media adventures I’ve always tried to be opinionated, funny, interesting, different. I didn’t have this grand plan at the start but I noticed as I went along that the allegedly mundane, non-business posts attracted much more feedback and commenting. For example, if I post up pictures of my kids being cute on Facebook you may ask, what the hell has that got to do with what I’m selling? Answer: Most people, have kids, like kids, were kids and can identify with you straight away, perhaps forming an opinion about you as being someone who loves their kids, wants to show them off, is sane enough to have kids, etc..oh and look, he’s a web designer. I’ll remember him when I need one.

Today, I think it’s all about standing out from the crowd and selling your personality, opinions and knowledge, interacting with people and only very subtly if at all, mentioning what you do the odd time. If you make yourself interesting enough, people will probe further to find out more about you and what you do so have that information handy in the background. I think people crave interaction and love to give their opinions. The success of Facebook is proof of that so tap into it, interact with people, get known, get liked and get business.

You’re more memorable when you’re liked, not just known.

Leon

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How Do YOU Come Across Online?

Several online acquaintances were kind enough recently (I didn’t ask them!)  to offer me some super critical feedback on how they saw my Social Networking and Branding efforts online. From their ‘comfortable distances’ they pointed out the flaws in some of the things I say in my Twitter and Facebook feeds and advised me to desist from certain activities. Having relatively recently ‘found my voice’ and style so to speak through things like Twitter and Facebook among others, and feeling fairly confident that what I was saying on these sites was generally interesting, enlightening, funny or useful to my audience in some small way at least, I wasn’t too happy with this criticism and it came as a bit of a shock..

I can’t say for one second that it’s going to make me censor myself online and I hope to continue saying it like it is, calling people out, alerting people to good and bad service from companies, occasionally cursing when needed and calling a spade a spade but it at least made me aware that I should try imagine how I sound to others. With just a little ‘out of body’ thought, you might realise that the largely IT/Techy crowd on Twitter don’t necessarily want to hear about your cat or that family and friends on Facebook don’t want to be bombarded with businesses stuff. ‘Know your audience’ and tell them what they want or need to hear seems like apt advice.

My moral is basically this – think before you speak, brand yourself and your business as honestly and effectively as you can but if you feel something needs to be said, say it. And if you are being honest to yourself and your gut instinct then you should eventually gain the majority’s respect. The rest can fuck off!!

Leon