I like attending good conferences. It’s not that I’m a passionate conference goer, but I do like learning from incredible people that have grown envy-worthy businesses.
The one thing I also love about conferences are the chats I usually have with other attendees. It’s unbelievable how much you can learn by listening and asking a couple of in-depth questions.
But here’s what happened to me one time at a conference.
I was surrounded by some very smart people and was eager to ask some questions on how they tackled the growth of their business. But there was this one guy that kept talking about his products. I mean, talking about your products is fine, but he kept trying to hard-sell other people around with some old-fashioned marketing techniques.
He gave us absolutely no background; we had no idea who he was beside the name.
We were bored. You probably know that feeling when you want to press the fast-forward button on a conversation just to make it end fast and hear other interesting people speak.
How dare he hard-promote his products in a conversational environment like this, amirite?
Let me turn this around for you. How dare other companies just show up from nowhere one day and start hard-selling things on Facebook? Right? It’s the same thing.
Your audience is bored
“Why is my audience not engaging with my content?” If you’re like 95% of the clients I get on Super Spicy Sessions you’ve already asked yourself this question multiple times. But you didn’t come up with any productive answers.
If your audience is not engaging with your content, it’s probably because your content is boring.
You’re like that guy from the conference. When people come to Facebook to see fun updates from their friends, you disrupt them with your promotional content. They mentally press the fast-forward button and scroll past your update.
How to make it work?
For 20 boring social media profiles, there is 1 company that’s killing it. What are they doing differently? Where’s the catch?
How to transform your audience from a boring group of people to raving fans?
Show them who you really are
The thing about social media communication is that the majority of companies want to fit into some mould of what they think a good social media strategy looks like. Cold, corporate and honestly told, not even suitable for Facebook.
But it’s the companies that steer away from that mould that make a dent. Companies and brands that are not afraid of showing who they really are and try to be … different.
Not different in a forceful way. But different in a way they strip off the strictness they were taught to use and start showing their personality.
How to communicate your personality?
The easiest way to get ahold of this tactic is to use your Facebook Page in a way you would use your personal Facebook profile.
Ask yourself: What story can I share with my audience today?
What interesting piece of content can I create?
I call this The Blending Paradox. The more you blend in on Facebook, the more you actually stand out.
If your content looks like just another friend’s update, you’re going to get noticed. Your post is going to get consumed and clicked on.
Act as natural as possible. Don’t try to act big-businessy just for the sake of appearing big and serious.
Major brands are pulling back on that approach and working on humanizing their strategy. You have a unique opportunity of creating compelling and engaging content that will get you noticed and turn a bored group of people into raving fans.
Here are some randomly picked brands that are doing it right.
Large community? Yes. But they created a raving group of people following their every step. Just look at some of the comments on the page!
They made it personal with sharing as many photos of people as possible. Facebook users have trouble connecting and engaging to cold images of objects and other scenes but have no problem connecting with photos of people.
They communicate their personality with every post, let that be video, photo or a link. There’s no space for a fake tone. They are who they are. (And trust me, it’s much easier to create content when you’re not trying to pretend you’re someone else.)
But you might be saying: “This is a LARGE community. I can’t do this. What about a smaller one?” I got you covered.
Horze Horse Equipment. You didn’t expect that, did you?
It’s not a teeny tiny community, but definitely not a major one. And Horze is going to show you how to create an engaging community with a totally unconventional business.
It’s horse equipment they’re selling, but they go great lengths with sharing as many photos of people as possible. Especially photos of riders. They’re also tagging riders in their posts — adding that to the mix and you’ve got a winner.
Could they do better on social media? Yes. Are they killing it nonetheless? Hell yeah.
Motivational quotes, valuable information, entertainment. They check out all the boxes. When the horse-riding community will chat about horse equipment, guess which company will be the first on their minds?
The best tactics for growing your fandom come from public figures. And Gary Vaynerchuk is the best example out there.
Just check out his Facebook Page. Scroll down a little and observe the content he shares with his fans.
He breaks all the rules big corporate companies would consider sacred. Long text updates on Facebook, extremely personal posts, a massive amount of videos. But he’s crushing it.
He created a religion around his persona and his business. He calls his fans Vayniacs. His fans are raving every time he publishes a new video.
And before you scream at your screen — “But he’s a public figure and can share these things! I can’t!!!” — think about it. Can’t you really?
Or is this just a handy excuse?
Why can’t you share a personal video about your beginnings in business? Why can’t you share the valuable lessons you’ve learned? Do you really think you can’t possibly share snippets of personal videos with some narrative?
Being Gary Vee of social media is hard, but doing at least 5% of what he does will make all the change in the world.
Stay true to yourself
Today we’re facing a big flood or brands and companies on social media, where one brand looks like the other. It all looks the same to social media users.
Showing who you really are is giving users a personality to connect with instead of giving them a logo, some boring content and expecting them to rave about it on social media.
The more we act like a human being on social media, the more of a connection users will develop with us. And relationships between human beings are more durable than the ones between a human being and a faceless brand.