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Social for business: authentic, engaging and full of personality

I regularly chat with my Mum about work; we share insights, experiences and goals. She often claims she doesn’t really “get” digital marketing and social media, but I think she does, on Skype last week she profoundly said “I’m not really up with all this social media lingo, but isn’t the clue in the name?

Exactly Mum! The clue is in the name and it’s almost astounding how many businesses miss the point. Social, you know, good old fashion conversation, talking to people and sharing ideas and collaborating.

“I’m not really up with all this social media lingo, but isn’t the clue in the name?” - My Mum, retired Baby Boomer

Me and my Mum, 2017

So many businesses use their soical platforms to talk at their customers instead of talking to them. To be successful on social media and grow your community base, you must be authentic, engaging and bring your brand alive with personality.

Definition of social media : forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos) - merriam-webster dictionary

Easier said than Done

It’s all well and good me telling you to be engaging, authentic and have personality, but how do you put this into practice?

20/80 Rule

Social media feeds vary depending on the platform you are using, but generally sticking to the 20/80 rule when it comes to promoting your business or product is an effective way to engage existing followers or entice new ones. Remember it’s 20% your business products and 80% industry and your thought leadership.

I liken it to my favourite analogy, if you are at a party and get stuck with a guest who talks about themselves, all night, it’s boring and completely self indulgent. It’s what I like to call a “massive snooze fest”.

Engage off and online

As a business establishing offline relationships to drive your social engagements is equally important. Network, meet people, attend events, both internally and externally. Engaging where you can off line will strengthen those online relationships.

Social Media - It involves blogging and forums and any aspect of an interactive presence which allows individuals the ability to engage in conversations with one another, often as a discussion over a particular blog post, news article, or event. - Business Dictionary

Ask your followers questions

Most people enjoy sharing their point of view, so why not ask your social media followers for their opinion. There are a few ways of doing this, twitter polls, questions, images, its really up to you, "New World" is a supermarket chain in New Zealand, their social team to a fab job in this regard, there social feeds are always engaging and involving their customers.


Most businesses have brand guidelines and strategies in place, and if you haven’t already, use these strategies to create a tone of voice for your social feeds. Each social platform is different and your audience will change slightly, determine what your social personality is going to be. Weather that is tongue and cheek like Old Spice, silly and fun like Skittles or corporate and informative like KPMG.

Social media is all about being social, talking to people, reaching out, asking questions, sharing ideas and engaging with each other. Let's not forget the actual meaning of 'social'.


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