Social Media is Nothing New

Photo by Anglada Pujol

Photo by Anglada Pujol

Searching for ‘social media’ on Google turns up 575,000 hits. Searching ‘social’ and ‘media’ turns up 1,000,000,000 hits. That’s more than ‘Jesus,’ ‘Obama,’ and ‘Kanye West’ combined, it’s safe to say that social media is a big deal right now.

Thousands of businesses are rushing out to sign up for Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and LinkedIn profiles, but few understand what these channels are, or how they should be used. Well, here’s the good news:

Communication hasn’t changed.

Social media doesn’t change the story your brand tells, it doesn’t change who listens, and it doesn’t change how they react. It’s about communicating with your customers, and communication hasn’t changed. All social media does is provide another platform to reach chosen audiences.

Of course, that’s not very helpful to a business with it’s first social media account, so here’s what you need to remember when using these platforms:

BE HUMAN. There is a team of people behind your company, not a computer. Make your posts have personality. The writing should mimic a conversation, and should sound like words spoken by a familiar voice.
BE REMARKABLE. Everyone and their grandmother is using social media at this point. So, how can your company’s posts stand out from your grandmother’s posts? By making them better. Post high quality images and things people actually care about. Quick test: Would YOU like to see it on your newsfeed? If not, then don’t post it.

BE USEFUL. Your company helps people, it isn’t just a means to line your pockets. Neither is your social media presence just a means to distribute content. Use your unique connection to your customers to help them solve their problems.

BE AUTHENTIC. Just like every other aspect of your branding, people need to know what to expect. If your company sells to BMW and yet tweets messages that sound as if they have been written by a teenage girl, your customers will be confused (and more than a little bit leery about doing business with you).

So go ahead, put your brand out there. Social media can be a fantastic tool for telling customers your story, and possibly creating new sales at the same time. 

Just keep in mind that communication hasn’t changed a bit.