• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

It doesn’t matter how unique and creative your social media messaging is if the people reading it don’t believe you. And if they don’t believe you, they certainly won’t engage with you.

Face it, today’s audience is pretty sophisticated. People can spot a fake a mile away. Mark it down in big red letters, your social media audience needs to trust you, or they will leave your space, and they probably won’t come back. That sounds pretty harsh, but it’s true. To be successful on social media you need to be authentic, and to be authentic, you need to be honest and true. But how can you create authenticity? Actually, there are a number of ways. Recognize, however, that these strategies work together. One does you no good without the others.

When your community talks, you need to listen. Whether the feedback you get is positive or negative, you need to respond in a way that is open and honest. Where improvements should be made, you must be accountable. When you get kudos, you should pass them along to the people on your team who deserve them. Your social media platforms should be a place where your customers will be safe from judgment.

Share a consistent message. When you talk to your community, your message should be consistent across platforms. That doesn’t mean that you should be a parrot, just that when someone sees your brand they know what to expect regardless of where they see it.

Be yourself, a human being. When people reach out to you for wisdom, advice, help, or whatever they come to your social media for, they want a response that is personal and human. They do now want a robot who cites chapter and verse. Think about the last interaction you had with a support person who lacked experience. Chances are he or she merely read from a manual rather than listening to what you were saying and jumping ahead to help you get to a solution. How did that make you feel? That is not the image you want for your social media.

Creating authenticity in your messaging is a process that consists of a variety of moving parts. The first step is really listening to what your audience is saying and giving them a personal, human response. You need to be real, open, and honest. When you do that you’ll create a community that trusts you and keeps coming back.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

When was the last you gave yourself a pat on the back? Like most people, it was probably some time ago. For many of us, celebrating success feels like bragging, and it makes us feel uncomfortable. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with tooting your own horn once in a while. In fact, experts tell us that celebrating when things go well does a lot more than just give us a warm fuzzy feeling. It helps us build confidence, reinforces a positive attitude, and helps keep us motivated.

Aside from what celebrating our success does for us, it can do a lot for those around us. If you’re honest about it, you would probably admit that without others you never would have had the success anyway. So why not share the success with your tribe—those who got you there.

There are lots of ways you can celebrate with your audience, and social media is one of the most accessible and useful ways to do that. Here are five ideas for how you can make sure that the people who help you know how they’ve contributed to your success.

A Simple Thank You

The most straightforward way to share your success is to thank the people who got you there. That thank you can be in the form of a shout-out, a gift, promotional pricing or some other thoughtful gift.

Customer Success Stories

You can tell the story of a successful customer and how they got there. After all, their success is your success.

An Employee Profile

Your employees do a lot to help you succeed. Why not let your audience get to know them a little better by talking about how they made you successful?

Share Your Secrets

Is there something special you do that contributes to your success? If so, why not share it with others who might benefit? It may be a tool or a technique that you have mastered or a philosophy that works particularly well in your industry.

Pay It Forward

When you re-post information by a customer or another essential member of your tribe, you are helping to contribute to their success; whether you comment on something they write, retweet something they pass along, or respond to a comment, you are helping them become more influential.

No one achieves success on their own. Letting those who helped you know that you appreciate their contribution to your success will make both you and your tribe feel good, provide motivation, and bring a more sustained positive attitude. So start celebrating!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

As a social media marketer, you know how important it is to have content that is high quality, frequent, and consistent. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? The truth is, it’s not easy at all. In fact, it’s pretty hard to keep producing quality content that is engaging, well written, and offers something useful to the reader. What’s the solution? In a word: storytelling.

In marketing terms, storytelling means that your copy makes a connection with the customer BEFORE it introduces the product. You can probably think of many TV commercials that use storytelling that way. Think of the ones that catch your attention because they hit your emotions. You may not even see what they are selling until the very last frame.

Focusing on the story rather than the product may sound counterintuitive, but the goal is to create a connection with the customer, not necessarily to drive them to run out and pick up the product. A good story will create trust and stay with a potential customer when it comes time for them to choose a product in your niche.

Once you begin to think in terms of telling a story rather than showcasing what you’re selling, you’ll find fertile ground for building new content. From stories that relate to why you started the business to educational experiences, your stories can provide your customers with new insights into your business and your products.

Before you start to build your stories, you need to make sure that you really know your customers and what type of information they will make a connection. For some, educational stories will work best while for others, stories that tie to the news of the day will make the most sense. Whatever type of story you believe will work best for your audience, your stories should follow some simple rules:

Be Truthful: If your message is contrived, it will show. Use your own experiences to craft your stories.

Write Well: It may seem obvious, but your stories should not only be expertly worded, but they should also hold together by having a beginning, a middle and an end.

Be Consistent With Your Brand: Like all your marketing materials, your stories should communicate the image you have designed for your brand. If it is not consistent, your customers won’t believe it.

Make it Personal(ity): To help your customers connect to the story, make it personal and fill it with a personality that is compatible with your brand image.

To help trigger your creative juices, take a look at some of the best storytelling campaigns: Apple, GoPro, Allstate, McDonald’s, and State Farm are all master storytellers. Once you are inspired, get to work on your story and be sure to make storytelling a crucial part of your social media campaign. Remember, it’s not always about the short-term sale: you are building for the long run.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

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