Most businesses use social media wrong. They could benefit a lot from learning the right kind of behavior from their socially active employees as well as letting their employees use the company account like they use their personal accounts.
How most businesses use social media
With the exception of some strong consumer brands, most businesses seem to use social media only to promote, push and request. That’s not very social behavior, now is it?
The more “official” a company becomes on socials, the less social they become.
Let me give you a few examples:
#1 Using socials only to promote and advertise
The only times anything is posted is when there is a media release, a new blog post, a job post or a sales offer to push and promote. Social media is used only as a one-way channel for own gain. You simply post and leave when you could benefit from encouraging to comment and discuss, and participating actively in that discussion.
#2 Acting from behind the logo
When the company logo replaces the face on the profile, the account has not personality. It makes the audience feel like talking to the walls. So they don’t engage with you at all.
#3 Not hanging out at all
Hanging out on socials, scrolling, liking, commenting, sharing, that’s how we use our own socials, right? This is what these platforms were built for. This is how you and I use socials on our personal time.
Hanging out is about being socially present, engaging with your audiences and followers, building rapport and trust and learning about their likes and interests. This is super valuable for businesses. But how often do you see businesses hanging out on socials? Hardly ever.
#4 Not showing any interest towards our followers
Imagine going to a party and there was a person who just appeared, talked about themselves all evening and then left. Never asked you a question. Never expressed any interest to learn more about you. How interested would you be to learn more about this person, get in touch with this person?
When we use socials as businesses, we tend to restrict our use to advocating our own needs. We are like that person at a party. We pop in, pay a visit, let everyone know what we need or talk about ourselves only, and then we leave.
It is not wrong to advocate the company needs. It’s just a wrong arena for that kind of behavior, especially if that is ALL we do.
Imagine that same dude from the party. Let’s say we went to a seminar with an interest to listen to this person talk about themselves. Now that would be a whole different ball game.
Social media is an engagement platform
A business cannot get much value from social media unless they choose to use it for what it was built for. Social media is an engagement platform. That’s how we can get most value out of social media as a business.
Engagement is about learning more about each other. Being curious and interested about the other person. Wanting to build a relationship and trust. When we have this with our audiences, we are in a better place to move on and make commitments.
It takes as much time to use social media wrong as it takes to use it right. Instead of telling our employees how they should represent the company on socials, we should let them do what they want as long as their company related posts were supporting the why we use social media as a business.
Instead of pushing corporate restrictions on our company socials we should ask, pay attention to and listen to how our employees use socials and try to behave more like a personal account.
It does not mean we cannot have a brand look or stick to key messages. We absolutely should if we use social media for building a brand. We just should be more like a person even if we were a company account.
In this episode of Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast, I talk about why I think businesses are using social media wrong and why we should pick up a few tricks and tactics from our employees on socials.
Episode length: 15:55 min