Social media allows both humans and companies to do many things – communicate, sell, showcase, showboat, inform, update, connect, share and read, among many other actions.
As a PR agency and as humans, we are engrossed in various social outlets every day. The things we think social media should do for companies, regardless of the type or size of company, is engage, entertain and educate.
People, naturally, want to interact and engage. They want to be apart of something. They want someone on the other side of the conversation. Social media allows companies to pull back the curtain and let followers, fans and customers see what’s going on behind the scenes. Think about how you feel when a brand, company or someone of high status responds to one of your Tweets or writes back to one of your comments on Instagram. Excitement, perhaps? You grab your phone to call or text a friend to tell them, “[Enter your favorite athlete or shoe store here] just responded to my tweet!” We know you’ve done it. There is something about engagement that makes us feel connected, important and valued. While face-to-face communication trumps any type of interaction, we live in a world where virtual communication is much more common. Every person or company with a social media presence (so, everyone) should engage their audience, respond to tweets and keep the conversation going. It makes a difference to the person on the other end of the electronic device, whatever it may be. Whether it results in a sale, some word-of-mouth buzz or just a smile, it’s worth it.
Why do you think memes are the most shared posts on Facebook? Why do you think Instagram is one of the social platforms that is on the up-and-up? People want to be entertained. We love to laugh. We love to share funny posts. Whether your smiles and laughs come from the famous, most retweeted tweet ever post like Ellen’s selfie, a stand-up act from Kevin Hart or a quiz that tells you the 428 ways you know you’re a Texan, the entertainment factor is there. Oreo posts magic tricks on the reg to show its fans the magic of Oreos. That’s simple entertainment that one can get hooked on. During Fiesta, companies like Texas Orthodontics donned cover photos with cascarones – likes for those photos shot up, because people are entertained by them and it makes them smile. That entertainment provides value and creates a memory for the fan or follower. If you’re a company that uses social media, make an effort to entertain. Your fans will stick around your page longer, be more likely to comment and share and will remember your quirks, facetiousness and humor.
As a human race, we want to learn. We want to get better. It’s innately in us. Everyone is not interested in learning the same thing, but for the most part, individuals yearn to know more. Why do you think social media has become the number one place we get our news? We have our phones in our hands all the time. We read articles, watch YouTube videos, view infographics and statistics – the knowledge is seeping into us – either by osmosis from the electrodes in our phones or my visually reading and understanding new information. Make your audience (or friends or family) smarter. If you’re posting on your behalf, share an interesting article that may help someone to learn why it’s important to sleep or effective ways they can manage their time. CrossFit posts a multitude of videos every day to showcase how to better lift weights and move, but they don’t stop there. The Twitter account features motivational stories, business articles, workouts, recipes and more – all ways to enhance the knowledge and improve the well-being of the end users. It’s a great example of education through social media. There are a number of news stations that do this well, as well, but also a number who do it poorly – while some are using it to show relevance to their readers, others just pop up the autofeed. Social media has to be used for more than just a automated feed. If you’re going to educate, do it meaningfully.
So if you manage social media accounts or if you are running one to brand yourself (so, again, this is directed to a majority of people currently living), use those three Es. They mean more than you may think to the people you are communicating with on a daily basis.