24 August 2015

9 Ways to be social media-genuine

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It’s a given that the vast majority of public sector organisations, not-for-profits and corporate businesses are now present on social media with one of the major – if not sole – purpose of engaging with their public. This does not mean that it’s always easy to converse with your public in the casual, chatty tone that social media interactions normally call for.

Make your audience want to continue clicking on your links by following these 9 tips to humanise your social media strategy and discover the happy medium between deafening silence and cacophony of carnival barkers.

1.    Don’t be a stranger. Don’t hide behind a logo. Let your audience know that your organisation isn’t run by robots. Your audience will connect as much, if not more, with your emotions as they do with your information. Check out the Victorian Country Fire Authority to have amazing example on how it’s done!   

2.    Talk in the first person. You have a name and you can say ‘I’ or ‘we’. We all hate engaging in a conversation with someone who refers to themselves in the third person and social media isn’t an exception.

3.    Avoid corporate talk. Let go of the jargon and remember non-experts are reading you. You want to portray yourself as an authority in your field, but don’t act like you’re above everything.

4.    Share real-time content. We understand that you have to schedule some posts in advance if you want to get anything done, but these shouldn’t make up the most part of your social media activity. Be reactive to stuff that’s going on now and jump into conversations that are already going.

5.    Images. Images. Images. You can be the best copywriter in the world; there is a reason why we say an image is worth a thousand words. And do you know what’s worth a million words?...

6.    Videos. On 1 January, Social Media Examiner predicted that videos would be the social media content of choice. The introduction of Periscope in March 2015 definitely cemented this prediction. There’s a reason why Periscope’s tagline is ‘Explore the world in real time through someone else's eyes’ (we know Periscope is a live stream and not videos, but you know what I mean). So go ahead, start filming and give your audience a glimpse of who your company really is!

7.    Laugh a little. Again, you don’t want to come off as a complete goof ball, but it’s always good to have a bit of a chuckle. Hey, even NSW Police knows how to laugh sometimes!

8.    Listen and Help. Social Media isn’t just a free (… free-ish) way of promoting yourself; it’s also about customer service. Listen to questions, complaints and concerns and not only will you get to know your audience a little better, you will also enhance your ‘good guy’ image.
9.    Admit mistakes. Mistakes are human, so if you want to humanise your social media strategy you have to put your pride aside and know when you have to say ‘I’m sorry’. That being said, don’t go out there and intentionally make any faux pas just to appear more genuine!

Although Alexandra didn’t know much about conference production before first coming across this opportunity with Akolade, she has quickly become passionate about her job. Gaining in-depth knowledge in a variety of new fields without going through exam stress? Who could ask for more? If ever you speak to Alexandra and wonder what that funny accent is, it is from Quebec, French-speaking Canada. Do not hesitate to ask Alexandra about her former life on the 47th parallel; she will be thrilled to talk to you about snow storms, skiing and -35⁰c!

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