Use Basic People Skills To Add More “Social” To Your Social Media Marketing

Sometimes we forget to be social in our social media marketing. We focus too much on marketing and some marketers forget the social aspect all together. But the social part is what draws response and action. So how can we as marketers be more social while still keeping ROI in mind? Inspiration can come from other areas where business has a social purpose.

We don’t forget to be social in physical events. At networking events you don’t just walk up to people and deliver your hard sell message. You have learned some social skills and techniques. We can apply these “real life” people skills to social media.

Here are 5 ways to be more social in your social media marketing:

1. Don’t Brag. No one likes a guest who only talks about his or her accomplishments. Dr. James Pennebaker, a psychologist at the University of Texas, actually performed research about this on Facebook. He found that the higher the person’s perceived power, the less he or she used “I.” People who frequently use “I” focus on themselves. As a brand the same applies. The less you talk about yourself, the higher your perceived importance and value. Talk about your consumers and brag on their accomplishments.

2. Ask questions & Listen. How do you feel when someone asks you a question and is genuine in wanting a response? Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People, includes “Be a good listener” as one of the most powerful things you can do to be likeable and influential. After 70 years and over 15 million copies this advice is still true. As a brand listen to your consumers and ask questions to gain insight into their opinions and desires. Imagine how important and valued they will feel if you actually act on some of their thoughts.

3. Know current topics. Current events are always an ice breaker at social events. From the weather to the latest news headlines, these topics help build bridges of common knowledge. Yet many companies seem so out of touch. What if a company had something relevant  to say about something that happened today? Digital Sherpa says that by tapping into a trending topic a marketer increases their social reach by simply joining the conversation. Trending topics will give you content ideas, but also an opportunity to reach your audience without having to pay for it on crowded platforms such as Facebook.

4. Offer a reward. What would you do for something, anything free? We love free. A secret to attract attention at conventions is to offer a free tchotchke of real or perceived value. Researchers at Duke University found that people perceive the benefits associated with free products as higher. People appear to act as if zero pricing of a good not only decreases its cost, but also adds to its benefits. As a marketer this could mean offering free products or samples as part of social media use/brand community or offer free apps and games.

5. Tell a joke. We don’t all have to be stand up comedians to tell a simple joke or offer a funny observation on life, an industry or situation. Sometimes people just want a laugh. Why is humor so powerful? Psychology Today tells us that humor is ubiquitous. Every person and culture relates to laughter. Many times humor pulls people together. Humor smoothes awkward social and cultural interactions. In addition, humor is good for us. It is good for your health by helping reduce stress and anxiety. Funny people also receive positive attention and admiration. Has your social activity been a little too serious?

When planning your next social media post or campaign, take a step back and think about the “real” people skills you already know and how you can use them in this virtual social world. What other people skills could be valuable in social media?

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