The Secret to Social Media: Be Social

Social media has quickly become one of the best ways to help companies market their brand, generate leads, and build brand trust. With its popularity, we tend get questions from clients about how to integrate social media into their marketing strategy, and these questions often revolve around how a company should go about “doing” social media.  It’s an interesting topic, as this whole concept of “doing” social media makes it sound like social media is some kind of dance they have to learn and execute precisely.  It also makes it sound like every company’s approach to social media should be the same, and that’s simply not true.

There is a variety of advice out there about growing your following and gaining engagement, and we’ve heard everything from paying for bots to prescribing to follow-unfollow tactics. There seems to be this belief that social media is a game that’s played with content calendars and schedulers and you have to be active on all of them all the time (hence the bots).  While it’s true that planning is the key to success, the assumption that social media is removed from the business as a whole seems to be missing the point.

Social media is exactly that: a method of being social with other people that happens to be direct, instant, and online.  Think of it this way, if your brand or business were a person, who would it be friends with? Instead of thinking about you as a content marketer or business owner trying to do social media for your company, think of it as you expressing in photos and words what your company thinks and feels. What kinds of things would it like?  Who would it follow? What social circles would it be part of, and what would it do online?

Obviously, we’re not fans of bot usage (it’s also against some platform’s terms and conditions), nor are we fans of tactics that seem like you’re taking advantage of other people.  What we would suggest is to pick one or two social media platforms to start with and build genuine connections with people online.  Follow people and brands that would get along with your brand.  Like and share content that you are inspired by, or think that likeminded business would find interesting.  Lastly, be helpful.  Comment on things in an effort to be a solution, rather than push a product.  Start to genuinely engage with others, and you’ll find that “doing” social media is less about “doing” social so much as it is about being social.