What kind of party guest is your brand? Most companies discuss their brand’s social media plan in terms of information distributed, leads generated, likes, follows, and re-tweets. But the real discussion should be about your brand’s personality, content and targeting that content in real time with a variety of audiences – much like being at a cocktail party.
Let’s review the stereotypical party guests and see which one your brand compares to:
The “Buy My Stuff” Guest: This person only talks about work. They tell you what they do and why you should buy their products. Rarely do they ask you anything other than some very basic profiling questions and they will shove a business card in your face whether you want one or not.
The “I’m the Greatest” Guest: This is the egomaniac. They are perfect at everything and won’t stop talking until they’ve told you all their heroics. Perfection is boring and blind, but these people fail to understand that.
The “Wallflower” Guest: These people hang out on the edge of the room, drink in hand pretending to participate but really only being a voyeur of others’ fun. Trying to have a conversation with them is risky as you never really know what they will say. They are often inconsistent in their replies because they are nervous or socially awkward.
The “Loose Lips Sink Ships” Guest: These chatter boxes go overboard on the TMI scale in a nanosecond. They’ll tell you all kinds of things you really don’t want to know, and probably shouldn’t either. Brands without a social media plan and without an employee social media policy are most likely to fall in to this category.
The “All I Do is Vacation” Guest: They go everywhere and often have fascinating stories, but leave you wondering how they make a living and if they can focus on a theme or activity. Adventurous but one-dimensional conversations are typical with them.
The “I’m Too Sexy for This Party” Guest: These are the people who know a lot of people but seem to somehow gain extreme pleasure in letting everyone know who they know, but not sharing the connection opportunities.
The “Real Person” Guest: These are people who have a life. Their life includes work, people and fun. They can talk about what they do or their friends/family or recent vacations with ease. They usually have some great hobbies and are interesting to talk to.
The “Guardian Angel” Guest: These people love helping other people find people who are interesting to them or can help them. They are truly gracious with their time, knowlege and connections. Meeting them is a blessing and being able to return a favor to them is always a treat.
The “Quintessential” Guest: These people work the room with ease. They ask great questions and often listen more than they talk. They move between topics and people with grace and a sense of humor discussing personal adventures, business, current events, etc. These are the people we all want to be at a cocktail party and when we spot them, we’re fascinated.
Being a good party guest is all about being informed and having a plan and your brand’s presence in social media is exactly the same. You know the host (media type), who will be there (audience), the theme of the party (what is important to the audience), what to wear (style that resonates with the audience), etc. And you have a game plan for interesting stories to share; people you want to meet; and information you’d like to gather. But most importantly, you’re open to new ideas, conversations and viewpoints. Make sure your brand has some personality, isn’t too perfect, has a sense of humor and can laugh at itself. Engage and work your brand’s social media presence like a combo of the quintessential guest plus the guardian angel guest and you’ll have more likes, follows and invitations than you can count.