Crowds gather for different reasons. Bad accidents. Public humiliation. Amazing spectacles. Runaway elephants. Weird clowns. Anything that fascinates people attracts them. Our social media definitely should not resemble a bad accident or be out of control like a runaway circus animal. It shouldn’t be populated by clowns. It should be something amazing, without tiring us out.
The Three-Ring Circus
For the sake of the illustration, let’s say our social media is a three-ring circus (but in reality, let’s hope not). What would the three rings be?
Be Personal With Personality
Personality is a reflection of who we are. Writing personally is a reflection of who the reader is.
Our personality should come through our content. People connect to personality, not to robots. We each have something to bring, especially in a team setting. Of course, having personality doesn’t mean we have to be an obnoxious clown or scream about ShamWows and Flex Seal. Personality isn’t an excuse to be loud.
Our content should be written as though we were communicating specifically with someone. Having one or two actual people in mind as we write is helpful. We tend to write personally when we envision talking to a person. The conversation that surrounds personal content tends to be personal in return.
Keep the personality, and respond in a personal way.
Be Timely and Relevant
Now is not the time to report on the Hindenberg disaster. It’s a little late. When sharing content in social media, it should be relevant to right now. Using tools like TodayLaunch, can help us find relevant content for right now and make it easy to share immediately. What we write on our blog should also be relevant in the same way.
Our response to the conversations that arise from our content should be timely, too. If someone responds on Twitter, waiting two weeks is too late. TodayLaunch helps us stay on top of our many social media accounts and the different ways conversation happens across them, all within a fast time frame.
Remember, be relevant in our topics, timely in our response.
Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away. – Ben Hecht
Be Conversational For Conversation
Talking like we normally talk shouldn’t be so difficult. With a brand, though, we freeze up. Maybe it’s out of a concern that we might say the wrong thing if we speak in our own voice, or that our customers won’t take us seriously.
That’s definitely not the case. Our customers and fans want to talk to us, and not our marketing department. So, we just talk to them. No slick or practiced responses. Just imagine that they are real people (they are!) and speak to them as we would a friend we ran into at the store. Being conversational happens both in publishing content, and in our response to comments by fans. After all, how do we start a conversation if we aren’t conversational?
Be A Ringmaster, Not A Clown
Clowns are fun for a little while (for me, it’s a very little while). Crowds gather around clowns to see what ridiculous thing they’ll do next. With all the time and effort we put into our social media, we probably don’t want to gather a crowd based on the fact that they think we’re a bunch of clowns.
Remember, the three rings aren’t based on crazy performances. They are based on best practices that apply all the time, no matter what the performance of the moment happens to be. Be the Ringmaster instead of a clown, and be in control of those three rings.
It’s easy to think that success requires constant extravagant performances. We must astonish with uniqueness. Hold contests that astound. Create pithy tweets that amaze. This will exhaust us eventually because we’re always trying to keep the show going based on flashiness instead of foundation.
And that’s when, because we’re tired, we fail to ship. We can’t always maintain the extremes every day and so we stop shipping because not everything is a huge motorcycle flaming cage of death. Sometimes a dog on a pony just doesn’t seem good enough.
There are room for the small acts, as well as the big, in the three rings of the circus. Just do the acts well, using each ring.