When PostBeyond’s CEO, David Lloyd, recently posted on LinkedIn, it sent his engagement rates to all-time highs. After all, was said and done, he’d garnered more than 13,000 views and hundreds of comments. All from one simple LinkedIn post.
What was the magical content that had audiences passionately engaged and clamoring for more? Hint: It wasn’t a serious business report, it was a dunk tank photo. Let’s back up a little and explain.
When the PostBeyond team took part in a charity carnival in support of Ronald McDonald House last July, CEO David Lloyd gamely hopped into the “executive” dunk tank. After enduring a series of well-placed throws from the PostBeyond team (and subsequent dunks), he posted a photo of himself in the dunk tank. Views and engagement skyrocketed.
The Ripple Effect of Personal Content
Why did this one little post eclipse every other piece of content he’d posted? Don’t people want important business news and detailed facts on social media? The long answer is, people do want serious news on social media, but it’s not all they crave. The short answer is: Not really. According to a recent study, only 16% of consumers surveyed said they want to interact with businesses on their social media feed. That means, for businesses to succeed they must find ways to get personal and connect in meaningful ways on social media networks. But where do you begin?
Social Media is All About Connecting
Start by knowing that people want to relate. It’s easy to tire of being advertised to on social media and crave something more authentic. (And you could say that it’s fairly difficult to be inauthentic when you’re soaking wet in a dunk tank. That’s pretty real.) Social media is all about connecting with people, after all. Prospects on social media and those connected to you want to engage with you, not a personality-less corporate robot.
While it’s easy to log-in to an employee advocacy platform and just click to share, doing this on a daily basis can actually be detrimental. Same goes for finding an article and just reposting the title as your post text. Why? Because it doesn’t do anything to attempt to make a personal connection with your followers or show-off your thought leadership.
After looking at our own PostBeyond platform and tens of thousands of posts, we found that posts that had been personalized received 63% more interactions (clicks, likes, comments, and re-shares) than posts that were shared with generic or no messaging.
Get Personal with Your Audience
When post content gets personal, it reflects you, your thought leadership, and personal brand. Being real with people generates trust. It’s like when travel companies share UGC (user generated content) on their social feeds versus just professionally curated images.
When you show more of your authentic self, your audience will find you more interesting than when you’re perfectly posed. When people are more interested in your content, you’ll generate higher engagement rates. And don’t just be personal, be vulnerable (even soaking wet doesn’t hurt). It won’t happen by magic, though. You’ll have to take the time to connect and have solid strategies going forward.
Ways to Personalize Your Brand on Social Media
We know it’s not easy to come up with social content; let alone to put a personal spin on it. So we wanted to break down the process, and give you the right place to start the process. Here are some easy how-to’s to get things rolling:
- Develop a voice – It’s not just about getting more personal about yourself, get more personal in thinking about what your audience wants. Personas help you understand who your followers, networks, and connections are. For example, executives may like strategic content versus individual contributors. Or by function, sales, marketing, etc.
- Keep things positive – Make sure the content is something that positively reflects your personal brand. When you have a passion for something, it shines through.
- Know what suits your style – Learn about the different platforms and how to write for each one. You might find your styles is suited better to Twitter, than Facebook or LinkedIn. Find what works for you.
- Pull a compelling statistic out of the article – Scan articles for snippets that you find interesting. Use that compelling stat or fact in your post headline to put your own spin on the article.
- Throw out a conversation starter – Ask your audience questions or opinions about the content found within the article to engage them.
- Take an opinion– Don’t just repost an article, make it clear where you stand on the article’s content. When you give your opinion, people are more likely to respond – and you’ll get increased engagement.
Ready for more? Help your employees to share the best content for each social network. Get the social media cheat sheet.