Have you seen those tea towels (t-shirts, mugs, etc.) that say things like, I love Jesus, but I also cuss a little? The reason these are so popular (uh, yeah, NINE PAGES of search results!) is that people are almost always more than one thing. Very few people are one-dimensional in the real world. So if you’re working really hard to portray ONE idea, image, or emotion when it comes to your brand – you’re missing a big opportunity to sell more stuff.
Most of us are walking around like living contradictions. Here are just a few of my apparently contrasting facets:
- I love super feminine, floral coffee mugs with swear words on them (I own this one and I love it).
- I have an unhealthy love affair with dessert, but I also try really hard to work out every week.
- I love Game of Thrones AND Call the Midwife.
People don’t just like ONE thing.
They like lots of things. That’s what makes it so hard to buy gifts.
When you use social media to try to define your brand, are you trying to convey the same tone, emotion, feeling, or response on every single channel?
In your personal life, do you use every social media outlet the same way?
Of course you don’t. You use Twitter to share interesting articles or funny quotes from comedians. You use Instagram to look at inspiring images and see how people dress or what they cook for dinner. You go on Facebook to connect with your family members or post articles about issues that are close to your heart. You check YouTube when you want to learn how to make a DIY barn door sign or when you want to find that funny video with the Harry Potter puppets.
You don’t post the same thing in all the places. You don’t consume the same content in all the places.
You don’t play the same game on every social media outlet.
Your social media posts should reflect the diversity of your company, AND your customers. (Click here to tweet this!) It’s okay to be funny in one moment and sincere in the next. It’s okay for one post to be beautiful and the next to be weird. If you’re staying true to your brand, and to the people who like your brand, then it’s okay to branch out.
Acknowledge that your customers want to consume different types of content. Stalk them online and find out what they like, share, and comment on. Then post more stuff like that, except make it uniquely YOU, uniquely your brand.
Try to do more than just one thing: Educate. Inspire. Entertain. Make ’em laugh.
I was inspired to write this post when I came across this awesome article, which gives some really great examples of how different companies are doing this (scroll to the bottom for a resource list). I really recommend you read the whole article, but in case you don’t, here’s the summary: seek to BE on social media what your audience is LOOKING FOR on social media. Create the type of content they welcome into their lives, rather than the type of content they ignore or block.
How can you educate your customers?
What are the questions they ask you before, during, and after buying your thing? Answer them in a blog post or email!
What does someone need to do, know, or understand before she’s ready to own the thing that you sell? Explain it!
What are some other things that go along with what you sell, which might be useful or interesting or helpful to your customers? Talk about it!
How can you inspire your audience?
What makes you want to stand up and cheer? Share more stuff like that.
Share the things that make you feel all warm inside. The things that make you worry a lot less about the future of humanity. The things that prove that there is still beauty, kindness, truth, and love in this world.
Find the things that make you want to be better, be more – and share those things online. Create more things like that if not enough exist already.
How can you entertain your followers?
Does your audience like Jeff Foxworthy or Lewis Black? Are they South Park fans, or Simpsons fans? Do they like sports, games, live music, shows, plays, skits, or art? Would they prefer a weekly podcast, or a daily quick tip? Do they like to read inspiring quotes, or data spreadsheets?
Find out what makes them geek out, and then create content that mimics that sentiment and promotes what you sell or how you can help people.
Be more than just one thing. Experiment and see what works.
Want more on this subject? Here’s a list for further reading:
- The article that inspired this post, from Co.Design
- When I say “Taco Bell,” what do you think of? Maybe it’s time to think again. They are rocking the concept I explained here; check them out on Instagram (modern and pretty visuals), Twitter (snarky/witty commentary and quips), and YouTube (a combination of useful DIYs and funny sketch comedy).
I’ve also put together a FREE worksheet to help you figure out how to diversify your content to reach all the aspects of your customers’ lives! Enter your e-mail in the box to be taken to my Subscribers-only Resource Library, where you can instantly download this and tons of other resources: