Social Media: You Get What You Give
At Branding Personality, one of the most often asked questions we hear is “How can I get more fans and followers?” I was thinking about this as I read an awesome blog post by Bryan Kramer “Social: The Best Cocktail Party Ever.”
If you go to a party, sulk in a corner, grab your food and head back to your corner, what value do you bring to the party? Conversely, if you go to the party, say hi to a few people, but never share information or conversation, what did you truly give? (Why are you at this party anyway?)
Like Bryan writes, social can be viewed as a cocktail party. Often, when companies first start attending, they want to GET more followers, GET more sales leads, GET more exposure. When your company starts going to the parties, look at what you can GIVE instead of looking at what you can get.
Let’s take a look at 3 companies who are popular party goers and companies I want to have drinks with because they keep me inspired with ideas, knowledge, and support.
Give your customers ideas: Milk and Honey Shoes is a startup out of Santa Monica, CA. Customers choose from a range of shoe styles, fabrics, and colors to design their own shoes. Their Facebook page content is mostly visual: Pictures of designer shoes straight from the runway, cute sayings i.e. “Repeat after me: I deserve new shoes!” and photos of shoes that their customers have made. This content serves to inspire customers to get creative for their shoes and customize their shoes to how trendy or how conservative they want to be. Fashion visuals are highly shareable content, so Milk and Honey fans can share inspiration and ideas with their friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Definitely a page for fashion and shoe lovers, Milk and Honey Shoes understands their customer is a shoe fanatic and is always on the lookout for the next shoe design.
Give your customers knowledge: Noel Dial, owner of Healing Touch Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork posts health-related images and articles. His customers learn about proper nutrition, healthy recipes, how to help in different emergencies, and health benefits of particular foods, herbs, and activities. Noel doesn’t just post on massage, services he offers, or promotions; he gives his friends knowledge so that they can be healthy on the inside and out. When clients have a better understanding of their health, they will be more receptive to massage and its benefits. Noel becomes a trusted source for natural health information; in turn, people will trust him as their therapist and receive more benefit from their treatments.
Give your customer support: Boston Children’s Hospital has one of my favorite Facebook pages.
Having a child in the hospital has to be one of the most stressful things on the planet. The Boston Children’s Hospital Facebook is full of stories of children they’ve treated, blog posts from doctors, medical advice, and current news on health and wellness. Parents are encouraged to share post-care stories and to weigh in on discussions about children’s health and parenting. The Facebook page serves as a support system for parents of patients and through that support. Parents trust the hospital and feel better about their child’s treatment.
These are three examples of very different companies but three companies who give inspiration, knowledge, and support.
How can your company be more social at the party? What are you giving fellow party goers?
Lori Johnson blogs for Branding Personality. She has an MBA from Chapman University. Connect with her on Twitter or on LinkedIn.