When it comes to social media messaging, how do you post with purpose?
How can your brand make connections in this noisy world? More importantly, how can you make real connections through your social media efforts?
While this is no easy task, there are three simple steps you can take to start creating real connections.
How To Post With Purpose
More and more, consumers want to know how a brand or company aligns with their own beliefs. They want to see that brands have more purpose than just selling more stuff.
In Sprout Social’s 2018, Brands Get Real Report, Sprout found the following.
“People want brands to take stands on important issues, and social media is the place for it. Two-thirds of consumers (66%) say it’s important for brands to take public stands on social and political issues, and more than half (58%) are open to this happening on social media – the top channel for consumer receptivity.”
Bottom line, consumers want to see brands actively engaging in causes they care about.
However, you must be careful not to take “purpose” too far. It seems another growing trend is abusing purpose-driven or values-driven content and messaging.
“Woke-washing” is now a thing. (This post is worth a read! Especially because Mark goes on to give nine ways your company can post with purpose, for real.)
Consumers want an honest brand personality in real life and on social media. Authentic > Cool
So how can you post with purpose? Try these three simple steps.
#1: Be Open
The first step to creating real connection and learning to post with purpose is being open.
Think about ways your brand/company can be transparent about your people, your values, or your business.
- Create behind-the-scenes content showcasing your team and how they’re values align with yours
- Do the above but with your values and/or mission statement and show how it aligns with your consumers’ values
- Use real photos of team members on your sites versus stock photos
- Dedicate a singular page on your website to your mission statement and values
- Highlight the ways your brand gives back or how you put your values to work in the community
- Consider hiring influencers or brand ambassadors who can help show how your values are helping your community or tied to your mission
- Make sure your online persona matches your IRL brand personality (hint: be AUTHENTIC for real)
- Post about more than just your product or service on social media
- Fess up when you mess up; REAL companies and people make mistakes!
#2: Be Real
Being real is harder than it seems, especially in our deepfake world.
Your homework for being real is to figure out what values, interests, and affinities your brand and your customers (and would-be customers) share.
How do you do that?
- Use social listening to uncover audience interests
- Create more one-to-one social and marketing strategies
- Survey your customers about their affinities or community ties
- Utilize a sentiment tool to uncover how people are talking about/fee about your brand
- Employ a scoring system, like NPS, to find out what your customers do/don’t like about your brand
Once you’ve uncovered places where you and your customers align, you can move on to the final step in posting with purpose.
#3. Be Empathetic
If there’s one thing our planet can use more of, it’s empathy.
Once you’ve found the trends, interests, content, conversations, influencers, values, affinities and whatnot you share with your customers, you can start to use social data & listening to actively uncover how to post with purpose and be empathetic.
Your social data should help you continuously do these four things and give you an unobscured view of what your customers want.
LEARN: Always be listening to the conversations your current and potential audience are having. Note trends and patterns with content.
FOCUS: Within those trends and patterns, focus on their needs, wants, interests and stories.
MEASURE: As you share your purpose-driven content, check to see how it is resonating. What’s your reach? What channels best support this kind of content? What formats gain the most traction?
OPTIMIZE: Continue to produce content based on your learnings. Keep using social listening and social data to help you post with purpose.
And one last thought I’ll leave you with is to THINK CONVERSATION. You can’t empathize without actively weighing in on, and joining, the conversations your community is having.
How does your company post with purpose? What steps do you take to be open, be real, and be empathetic? Let me know in the comments section below!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media management & advertising agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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