Let’s get right to the point.
Your personal social media profiles can be leveraged to achieve business goals.
However, there’s a difference between how you use social media for business and how it’s used for personal reasons. And no, they do not act well as one in the same. Why? Because they have two very different approaches and styles.
To be clear, some personal and cultural photos in the larger mix are a good idea. A selfie of yourself setting up the boardroom for the next big meeting or a group picture of the team cooking up some hot dogs at the company BBQ can get some serious engagement. That kind of thing is business related, and personal. Some mediums, like Instagram, are very good for this kind of content.
But personal social media can’t be business social media — especially for B2B marketing.
Are the BBQ photos getting your next big customer to download that awesome whitepaper that just got published? Does it get people to the latest blog post that explores a solution’s value? No.
This is why there’s a strong case to be made to separate how you use social media for business and personal use.
Post all the selfies you want on your personal or private pages, but when it comes to trying to leverage your social media profile for business, there are some straightforward best practices.
Don’t Create the Impression That You’re Not About Business at All
According to Urban Dictionary, the definition of a selfie is “Taking a picture of yourself like an idiot with swag.” That’s a little harsh for sure, but there is a reason why people are now actively satirizing people that have way too much of a personal touch on their social media.
Take your LinkedIn for example. If you want to use your profile to achieve business results, as mentioned above, a welcoming and personal presence is totally appreciated and a great idea online. But, having your feed dominated with your personal life and a bunch of selfies can have the opposite effect. It can get people extremely annoyed with your posts as they don’t provide value to your customer. It just shows that you have the head-tilt down pat and the filter you picked gave you an awesome tan. Every post you put on the internet related to your business or career should provide some sort of value to your audience. When someone sees the value in your post, they will be more inclined to trust you as a business and look to connect.
Again, value-filled posts can come with a personal touch. There are definitely ways of doing that. However, the right way certainly isn’t to appear self-absorbed.
Keep the Message in Mind
The message behind the images and content that you share on your company’s social are just as important as the words attached to them. And just like we mentioned in a past blog about how the look of your social media posts are important, so are the messages you’re ultimately presenting.
For example, before you post that business culture picture that features the empty office or people playing cards when it’s not lunch time, stop and think: Is this post giving people the right impression of the company?
All photos need to be curated to some degree, even a “casual, impromptu” one. A great culture photo can give off the impression that people enjoy working at a company and leave people with a nice feeling about the brand. A bad one can make everyone look foolish and cheapen your brand.
Different Platforms Have Different Purposes
Remember, there’s a time and place for everything, including a fun post every once and a while. It’s really all about how you structure your fun post, when, and where you are posting it. Turning your Instagram feed into a cultural photo reel is a good idea. LinkedIn becoming all about axe throwing is not. Each individual platform has a purpose and should be used accordingly.
Don’t Let Social Media Run Away From You
The best way to guarantee your business is using social media for its intended purpose is to ensure your activity on the platforms still matches up with the original goals you set for your business’ social media strategy. The lure of focusing mostly on the “fun posts” is very strong — they can be more exciting to create, the team can often get involved, and they give you the necessary break from putting out strictly solutions and services posts. However, they can’t begin to dominate your mix. If you stay on track with your planned mix, you are bound to have a healthy balance between the fun stuff and stuff that will more directly convert leads and generate interest in your offerings.