The art of being yourself on Social Media
Getting Back to Your Roots
Every small business started somewhere. Usually with the founder…imagine that… Maybe that’s you, maybe you’re the next generation owner in your family business, maybe you’re the new hired CEO, it doesn’t matter. No matter what you are, you are part of a company that was started with a vision in mind, built on the values of the founder, and that now lives in a world dominated by the internet and Social Media. If you’re not part of the social media world you’re missing the mark, friend. But there is more to it than just making a Facebook page, building a website, and writing 140 characters on Twitter every other hour. People need to pay attention to you in order for your social media accounts and website to work for you. Shockingly, writing repeated sales pitches as your content is NOT the way to get people to look at you online. It’s probably the number one way to get them to completely ignore you, though. So, what do you do to get people to pay attention to you online and make your social media and website work for you as a tool? You get back to your roots and you be yourself.
Why be yourself?
I always like to start by going over why something should be done before I talk about how to do it, or what it should look like. If you can’t tell a complete stranger why you’re doing something then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. That being said, I believe we should start with what we mean by ‘being yourself’, which will lead us into why we should be doing it. (Just a side not, check out Start With Why by Simon Sinek for a good read.)
Being yourself is all about humanizing your company. People on social media are NOT looking to read all your sales pitches everyday, and the great thing about social media is they don’t have to and they won’t. If they don’t like what you’re saying they will literally stop looking at you. You don’t want that to happen obviously, so be someone or something they can connect to. That’s what people are looking for. They want to connect with other people and share things they relate to with their friends. Friends who probably also relate to similar things. People don’t connect with faceless companies, they connect with real people.
By being yourself and humanizing your company you will attract more eyeballs from consumers. They’ll share your content with their friends when they relate to it (*cough* free advertising *cough*) because they feel it makes them look good online. Also, the more they interact with your content, the more your content will show up in their newsfeed and others’. It’s pretty cool actually.
How do you be yourself?
Now that we know why we are going to be ourselves, let’s talk about how we go about doing so. This is the hard part. The answer is getting back to your roots (or if you don’t remember them, plant new ones). The roots of the company are the values it was built on, the reason the business was conceived in the first place. They are the guiding principles the company follows day in and day out in order to provide consistent products, services, and support. Finding those values and those reasons, then exploiting them with your content is how you be yourself.
If you’re the founder of the business it shouldn’t be to hard for you to remember your values; if it is, you need to give yourself a reality check and possibly question your intent in regards to your business. If you’re the next generation leader of the business you were probably taught these values, however they were also part of the reason you were attracted to the company in the first place. Often, people are attracted to work for a place because it has similar values to their own. So, the values of the company are probably very similar to your’s, which is pretty handy.
Now that you have your company values in mind write them down. Yes, literally write them…I’ll wait…Ok, look at them. Those values should be the basis for your social media content. They will help you humanize your company and be something consumers can relate to. Everything you post should show off one or more of these values in some way, shape, or form. These values are what defines your brand. They are what your company stands for, and yes, your company should stand for something. Real people stand for things and they relate to people and brands who do the same. Getting back to your roots and utilizing the values your company was built on is how you “be yourself” on social media.
What does being yourself look like?
With why and how out of the way there is only one question left to answer, “what does being yourself actually look like?” The answer to this question lies in the company values you wrote down earlier. What could you write about or share that shows off what you value as a company? There are millions of examples of companies doing this online. If you value giving back to your community you could post a picture of your team doing charity work. If you value having a fun loving company culture you could show it off with a picture of your team doing something fun in the office. There are endless things you can do to show off your values. I could give more over simplified examples, but I don’t want you to base your content off my examples. That would defeat the purpose of this article.
What your company “being itself” looks like should be a manifestation of everything it values and stands for. Get back to your roots, show off those values, be creative, be genuine, be a real person, and for the love of all things good in the world, don’t be all “salesy” all the time. In fact, don’t be salesy most of the time. People don’t like that. Get back to those roots and give being yourself a try. Happy MRQTing!
President & Co-Founder of MRQT Ideation, LLC.
Operations Manager @ Heim’s Disposal Service Inc.