People First | A Single-Ingredient Recipe for B2B (or B2C) Social Media

I’m often asked to share insights regarding the key characteristics of a remarkable corporate social media presence.  Let me first say that all social is a work in progress – a point I’m sure my fellow social managers would wholeheartedly agree on, particularly given the pace at which social (and all new media) moves.  Taking into consideration all the infographics, debates, articles, blog posts, and Tweets offering sage advice about how to maximize your social footprint, I think it can all be boiled down to one key idea: Think people.

In Terms of Audience Interest, Think People

What do the people want?
What makes you pause to read an essay? A Tweet? A LinkedIn post?
What will make you not only pause but react?
What information will be genuinely helpful to your customer?
What ideas does your industry care about?  Your customer’s industry?

Once you know those answers, then go do that.  If it’s genuinely interesting to you as a person (in or outside your job), it will likely be interesting to someone else.  If it’s not that interesting to you or if it’s nothing more than a veiled marketing ploy, then don’t do that. Think authenticity.

When developing social plans, I often ask myself if what I’m about to say functions as part of my personal Three Es Rule.

Does it educate?  Does it offer additional insight or a solution to a known issue?
Does it engage?  Meaning, will it be compelling enough to elicit a response (positive or negative)?
Does it entertain?  Will my audience have an emotional connection to what I’m about to say?

If I don’t see a fit with one or all of my Es, then it’s time to rethink the plan.  And, more than virtually any communication medium out there, social is the one arena where you can (usually) trust your gut and continuously optimize a plan in real-time.  This is part of what makes social so unique.

In Terms of Talent, Think People

Finding the right core team to manage a corporate social presence can be challenging.  It seems like nearly everyone is using social (to varying degrees of success) these days.  But there is a vast difference between Tweeting photos of your cat and Tweeting an actionable, compelling message that will get people to seriously consider your brand and its products and services.

In my estimation, the right social media team is going to be equal parts media mogul, soothsayer, Oprah, gambler, and gossip-monger – any/all of these traits being employed simultaneously at a given time depending on what the situation demands.  Such is the nature of social.  A good team will also understand and zealously defend the idea that ultimately it’s all person-to-person communication, whether done in a personal or professional context.  Treating social media as a conversation tool rather than a marketing or conversion tool will ultimately drive meaningful ROI for your brand.

Social holds a lot of promise for businesses, without a doubt.  But ultimately, understanding that no matter the size of your audience, you’re communicating with the individual means the difference between excellence and mediocrity.

So with that “People First” mentality in mind, we want to hear from you!  What do you want to see more (and less) of on our blog?  Leave your comments and ideas below.

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Social and mobile marketer, blogger, cat owner, 'Law & Order' superfan, world traveler, history nerd, ice cream lover, and wordsmith. You should see my rap skills ... and my frequent flier miles.

One thought on “People First | A Single-Ingredient Recipe for B2B (or B2C) Social Media

  1. I love this article and I would like to see more articles on how Level 3 has daily impact on my life. I don’t like articles that are too technical – I want to see how that technical impacts our lives. Break it down in layman terms…

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