Fun Fact: What you see on social media is real.
To be clear, much of what people post on social media is hogwash. There are also millions of bots and fake accounts that create a lot of noise and garbage.
But what you see posted on your favorite network is real content. And that’s especially important if you’re posting for your brand.
Going into a holiday season, the UPS Store once tweeted, “If your child addresses a letter to Santa, bring it to us. We do shredding.”
Millions of children were heartbroken.
In 2019, Mercedes-Benz tried to jump on a bandwagon by latching on to trending chatter about a boring Super Bowl. They posted, “If this game weren’t in my stadium, I would’ve driven away by now.”
Mercedes paid almost $325 million to name the Atlanta venue “The Mercedes-Benz Stadium.”
You get what you paid for, we suppose.
A national pizza chain posted an image of a square pie with the pepperonis and olives arranged like an American flag with the hashtag “#neverforget” – on 9/11.
Not a good day for product placement.
The point of this is that simply because your intern spends every waking moment on Instagram, he or she might not be the best representative of your brand on Instagram.
There’s an art to a well-crafted post. Wendy’s – yes, the hamburger chain – has a brilliant Twitter feed, and it consistently posts brand-specific content and is known for its biting wit and ability to poke fun at rival brands. Wendy’s has a seriously dedicated team that does nothing but create content and respond to comments on social media, and they test their messages and approve of posts by committee.
It’s a science.
We had a client that liked to post the same content on Facebook every day at 11 AM. Another thought themselves slick because they invested in a Hootesuite-like automating platform, enabling them to post to multiple channels from one convenient dashboard. They then proceeded to post the exact same thing at the exact same time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Our favorites are the clients who proudly exclaim “Of COURSE we’re using social media!” And then a quick perusal of their feeds is post after post saying, “Buy our product.”
Good social media is a science. Not everyone is on Facebook at 11 AM every day. What resonates for a millennial on Twitter may not make sense to a Boomer. The image that rocks on Instagram, and the hashtags used, might be worthless on another platform.
We work with clients to determine who their audience really is. We know when they’re looking and when they’re not. We create content that opens conversations.
Look at it this way:
You have a backyard gathering and invite your friend Bob. Bob sells hammers. You ask Bob about the wife and kids. “Oh, they’re great, but did I tell you about my new hammer?” You later see that he’s cornered a friend and is talking about his hammers. Someone asks him about his latest vacation, and he talks about hammers.
You probably quit inviting Bob to your backyard gatherings.
That’s the thing that most people miss about social media. There’s a reason they call it social.
Sure, you want your content to promote your brand and products. But too much of that makes your content boring, so it’s okay to talk about local goings-on or hot trending topics. It’s also okay to take a more personal tone in your content, implying that there’s a very real person behind the post. But that voice – even when being snarky or humorous – should be respectful and representative of your brand.
And it’s not enough to just post something. If someone comments, thank them in your reply. If they share it, thank them for that. If they disagree, moderate the comment, but don’t engage in the argument.
Your social media feed isn’t a robot. It’s not a mysterious prince from a foreign land. It’s your voice, representing your brand. It’s you.
Do you really want to trust that to an intern?