The great man Gary Vee, the worlds greatest social media guru/storyteller/marketing gun has continually touted words that will forever live with me ’You are not using social media, first and foremost, to sell’. And, now more than ever, this is intensely correct.
Forgetting that your online audience are actual human beings, with the same quest for value and connection that you have – is killing the social media game of your business. The balancing of value and humanity, from my approximations, will garner the most of that increasingly elusive engagement for your business on social media
There are excellent marketing companies out there who will break down the marketing process for you into a myriad of complex methodologies and strategies – when done correctly, of course these strategies will absolutely work for you. Use them.
But there is something we’ve all got, it doesn’t cost us a cent and it’s as obvious as the face on the front of your head – in fact it is the face on the front of your head.
The human face is a dramatically undervalued business commodity in the social media landscape. The more time I spend marketing my business through online channels, the more convinced I become of it’s unrivalled power to immediately connect our businesses to our audience.
For me it’s becoming glaringly simple…peel away the layers of digital crap that have become embedded in our social platforms and just treat your audience as you would a good friend. Be honest, be entertaining, be yourself.
I don’t mean just taking/posting a selfie a day and the Facebook gods will reward you, I’m talking about using humanity as the focal point of our marketing. There is nothing more innately human than connecting with someone when you look them in the eyes.
Our newsfeeds are polluted with hollow click bait content that is simply designed to hook your curiosity without the intention of actually providing anything of genuine worth or value.
What I’m seeing is an astonishing lack of businesses using social media to connect with people on a humanistic level, to genuinely respect them as fellow humans and create content that is as authentic as it is valuable.
I’ve noticed in my 15 months of running AWS Productions generally what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to social media engagement. I’m not going to profess to be any kind of Facebook marketing expert (there’s enough of those out there), instead I’ll simply tell you what I’ve observed in my own business – make of that what you will.
Without fail, every single time I’ve shared a piece of faceless content (very, very rare) it gained little to no traction…people just didn’t connect to it – and why would they?
What the hell is the average person going to do with an article that doesn’t have an arresting human touch to draw them into it? The engagement just doesn’t come because it’s simply another piece of online content that could come from anywhere – there’s a detachment from it because there’s nothing evidently unique about it.
However, when you produce a piece of content – be it video, photo, blog or rant – that provides a human face, a unique character or a captivating story, coupled with authentic entertainment and valuable insight – this is where the organic engagement will come.
This is the prism through which I’m starting to see my social media marketing – cut out the bullshit. Cut out the self-aggrandising crap; bring your audience closer to you not by telling them how successful or popular you are but by being the business that slices through the digital malaise with content of distinct human substance.
Extend a human hand and another will reach back and hold on.
With as much respect as possible I say this – 99.98% of your audience do. not. care. They’ll just scroll straight on past your latest offering on social media if it doesn’t immediately catch their eye or provide something relatable to them.
Engagement comes with acknowledging this and actually delivering content that will connect in a meaningful way. Believe it or not – but you can provide something that no other business can. Your face, your struggles, your triumphs and your unique journey are 100% yours – no one can replicate, repackage or download that from pirate bay.
An example of this is something I posted recently. It was a photo and an account of the crippling fear I was gripped with before having to deliver a workshop to a room full of strangers. I wrote from the heart with honesty and a genuine desire for it to resonate with the people who read it.
And it did, it struck a chord and the post got more engagement than 90% of my other posts.
Likes, comments, shares – the works.
Unsurprisingly, people seemed to connect with a person doing what people do – searching for a deeper connection through a resonance with an audience of peers and strangers alike.
Ultimately that is the greatest instrument that social media can give us; the tools to connect with people more often and create profound relationships with new people from the vast expanses of the globe. Conversely it seems to be having the opposite effect so much of the time – create relationships with your audience like you would a new friend.
To engage your audience, don’t treat them like a number, or an impression, a view or a like – in a world of numbers, be the face that stands out.
Use these elements to get your audiences to become a part of your journey, to enable them to genuinely care about you and your business.
This is the cheapest marketing technique you’ll ever use, so what excuse do you have? Get your face out there and witness the renewed engagement with your fledgling audience.