There’s a lot of talk about content needing to be consistently “on brand”, but it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean being devoid of personality.
For a lot of small business owners, you ARE the brand; so don’t be afraid to share personal anecdotes. In a world of fleeting status updates, you have to differentiate yourself - and you can do this by letting your personality shine through. You'll come across a lot of social media managers on Instagram but you just might remember that kooky one with an unnatural collection of plastic toys.
“It’s got nothing to do with me”
Actually, it does. It has everything to do with you. No matter how beautiful your logo is – that’s how people IDENTIFY your brand. They CONNECT with your voice and personality.
You probably think no one cares about your personal life… but they do. Because life is more interesting than KPIs and transparent sales pitches. People don’t want to work with companies, they want to work with people.
That’s why client “chemistry” is so critical. I have clients who contact me because they feel a connection with my posts (I’m humbled, truly). Likewise, I know I deliver my best work for products and causes that I believe in.
There’s personal and there’s personal.
Your audience wants to know the human behind the screen, but they don’t need a flatlay of your toiletries. Being personal doesn't just refer to you- provide an insight to your meeting antics, behind the scenes of an event, your staffs' stories.
There’s a difference between banter and boring; a line between relevant and retch. When posting personal anecdotes, it should reveal an aspect of your life, your character, what inspires your ideas or drives your ambition. It should parallel the values of your brand.
“My kid stacked blocks today. He’s adorable,” is not that interesting (Fyi, your friends are just being nice when they like those posts).
“Joe stacked blocks today. He’s only two and I can’t believe how inquisitive he is. I hope he never loses that sense of exploration,” is relatable – even if you’re not a company selling handmade cognitive toys.
“I went to the markets today” versus, “I met so many inspiring small-business owners at the markets today”. See the difference?
Social media connects
Hands up if you're familiar with Rosie Waterland and 'Rosie's Recaps'? She has built an enormous following of her hilarious Bachie reviews and it's because women have fallen in love with her sense of humour. Everyone wants to be her BFF. Her book, 'The Anti Cool Girl', was released last month and it was instant best seller. Because dirty street pie.... and connection.
Social media connects people with each other, as well as brands. It fosters discussion and creates a sense of community for people to share their stories and opinions; to inspire and be inspired. Your followers will fluctuate, but those who develop a personal connection with your personality will become engaged users and eventually loyal customers.
Let me leave you with one of my favourite posts that I shared across St John Ambulance social media last year. It was incredibly personal and I cried writing it. But every comment, all the shares and each of the 486 likes touched my heart… and if it made just one person book a first aid course? It was absolutely worth it, personally and professionally.
PS - Today, my dad would have been 58. My social nature and entrepreneurial sprit is definitely from his side of the gene pool. Happy birthday, dad. This one was for you!