One does not participate in social media for the sake of participating in social media. There must be a bigger purpose!
What’s your goal? How do you measure success? What do your accounts look like in 1, 2 and 5 years? Followers can’t be the answer. It must tie back to your bottom line or some other business goal.
First rule of Social media is you never get more out of it than you put into it.
The Second rule is better know if you need to pay to play or if you need to participate to play. You’re going to need to put time and a lot of effort into keeping up social accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. If it’s Facebook or YouTube you’re venturing into you better plan to pay for production (content) or pay for eye balls. Unless you’re Justin and Greg you aren’t going to get the organic reach you deserve.
For a company or not-for-profit organization there must be structure to how they go about sharing content on their social media accounts. Over the past 8 years studying social media we’ve distilled our social media strategy down to three main categories for posting, the Three P’s if you will. Based on how frequently you wish to post, cycling through these three main areas within your organization is a great way to tell your story over time.
Century West on Instagram
Wheelhouse on Instagram
The most underrated share on social media, sharing about your people creates trust. There’s something about sharing people on Facebook and Instagram that works really well. On our own accounts, whenever we share our people or someone we look up to or work with, generally we get more engagement (more likes, comments, etc.). If you need to increase engagement try sharing about your people!
The photo on the left is of Century West’s Instagram account. When they share people (like the two you see) those photos get much more engagement than the projects worked on or new home photos. Shoutout to Wheelhouse Cycle Club, any time I’ve polled a class on the best Social Media accounts in the city, Wheelhouse always comes up. And for good reason, they share a variety of content that keeps people consistently engaged.
Why does sharing “people” work so well?
Most companies can’t do it. Their people don’t trust them, their customers don’t want to be seen with them. Most companies that are just getting by or are the cheapest in the market have anything but a loyal following. Companies that don’t show their people aren’t proud of their people. Companies that can’t get customers to pose on camera have much bigger issues to worry about.
Taking a photo and posting it online means something. People like to see their face, they like to show other people their face. When a company shares about their people it’s something special. Many companies aren’t proud of their people, they simply assume they do a job and nothing more. The best companies understand that it’s their people that take care of the customers and the customers take care of the bottom line.
In the future it’ll be people driven companies that win. If you don’t put your people first you’re going to lose.
So what should you share?
The coolest moments every week! Your team, staff, customers, people that inspire you, mentors, board members, community partners, anyone connected to your company or non-profit. Just please, no selfies.
The ultimate moment to share is your staff talking about “why” they work there. Working with Audio Warehouse, we decided to capture stories from several employees about the early days of the company and some products they used to sell. It’s hard not to trust people when they open up. Getting your staff and coworkers to talk about the company is hard, that’s why most organizations don’t do it. The more open of an organization you are the easier it is for people to understand why you do what you do.
You know people buy ‘why’ you do it not ‘what’ you do.
Audio Warehouse on Facebook
Everyone has something they’re working at whether it be a new undertaking for your company or an annual event. If you don’t have a current project or one coming up maybe you need to think about why you’re there in the first place! All kidding aside, if you aren’t working on some kind of project and allowing your staff some creative freedom, you’re going to find them leaving.
Projects are challenges
People like a challenge, people also like to know what challenges others are working on. It makes others seem human and more relatable when we witness them struggling. The best part? You don’t even need to have successful projects to talk about, it’s our failures that teach us more about ourselves than our successes.
It’s your chance to show your the world what you do and how you do it.
If your company/organization is as unique or as amazing or as smart as you say you are, you should be able to show your online audience why that is. Social media isn’t a sales tool, it’s a glimpse into the personality of your organization. If you don’t care about what people think of you you probably don’t care about how people view your Facebook Page. If you don’t want to attract a new and younger audience you definitely don’t care about what people think about your Instagram account.
Social media is so special because you don’t have to be there and if you are there you can’t sell what you do. There’s an unwritten code that states when you try to “sell” people run like hell!
What the heck kind of “projects” should we be sharing?
Take a picture at meetings, at birthday parties, at lunch, during presentations, on the shop floor, at the big announcement, at the company party (you better have company parties!). Start becoming the journalist for your organization. Tell your story over time using social media.
Shown to the left is Collaborative Construction. They do a great job of sharing a variety of the projects they work on. Rarely ever the same style of post, Colab keeps their audience engaged because they obviously care about what they’re sharing.