The Seven Principles of Social Media
Social media is not rocket science. It is not the cure for world hunger and it is not the panacea for all ills. So often, we look at social media as being something special and out of the ordinary, but the reality is very different and a lot simpler.
“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” - Matt Goulart
Social media is about being sociable on a large scale to a potentially vast audience of somewhat anonymous, faceless peoples.
If we take a look at the pure meaning of social media, we can see exactly what it is and how we should be using it in order to increase our audience and if we are a business, how to increase sales and revenue.
The simplicity of social media and the posting on your platform comes down to seven simple principles. I call these pillars of social media the seven Ps, and you should be: persuasive, persistent, practical, pertinent, playful, pleasurable and personable.
“We don’t have a CHOICE on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it” - Erik Qualman
Being persuasive means being able to move someone from one view point to another. In business, persuasive means to move someone’s buying decisions from your competitor, to your brand. How can you be more persuasive without being overbearing and irritating to the audience? The first step is to know how your product or service meets a need within your audience. You need to meet a need, to solve a problem that is known, or as yet unknown, your customer may or may not realise they have.
Your content needs to have a message that can solve that need, which may be a tool for a job, a recipe, some food, information or some other service, but you need to firstly recognise, and then solve your customers’ needs.
If you are persistent, you are doing something regularly and frequently in order to educate, engage, extol and empower your brands and your audience.
The consistency allows for the building of a presence, an ability to showcase what you are and what your brand is, as well as allowing you to exhibit that your brand can solve the customer’s problem and meet their need.
Your approach to the customer and the information you are posting needs to be of some practical value to the customer. It may be knowledge that you are imparting, it may be a how-to video or book, or it may be a product that can better a person’s life.
You need to show in your posts the practicalities of your brand and how your brand can fill the void in the customer’s life. By offering a practical solution to a problem your customer may not even know they have, raises you and your brand in the eyes of the customer.
The pertinence of your posts leads on from the practicality of your content. Your posts should be touching a chord with your audience, opening them up to accepting that there is a problem to be solved; even if they haven’t realized that there is a problem. The solution should be applicable to their perceived or unrecognized need.
Show the customer what the customer wants and not just what you want to show the customer.
“You cannot buy engagement. You have to build engagement”. - Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Social media is about, as I have said, being sociable and the most encouraging and engaging way to be sociable is to be playful. This does not mean taking your ideas to the absurd or ridiculous, but it does mean to be light-hearted and show your humanity.
This is not the time to be too serious about what you can do. You need to be show you are human and friendly, so being playful and open allows you to come across as such. It’s like doing the “captcha“ on a website to prove you are not a computer. We have feelings, move your audience.
Pleasure pulls us in to see more and to be more readily engaging. There is nothing worse than reading posts that do not move you, or worse still, posts that bore you; posts that all look the same and give the same message. You are unique. Your brand is unique. Show your uniqueness. Show how uniquely your product can solve that problem. By being playful and personable, you can provide a pleasurable experience for your audience.
Discover your unique selling point and use it to save the problems you have seen in your customers and your audience.
By having a pleasant manner and approach to your customers, you are being personable. This is a very important skill for anyone in business, the ability to be seen as genial, affable and amiable. You need to show your personality in your posts.
This can be a very daunting thing to do; to open yourself up to strangers, but remember you will probably never meet these people and if you do they are your fans and you hope them to become your advocates, so there should be no need to fear showing your personable nature. Through your posts try to show you and your brand and why the customer should be choosing you over the competition. Your confidence in your brand and your humility in yourself can go a long way to engaging with your audience and converting them into customers. Being personable needs to be linked to your authenticity.
Offer humor and positivity to your posts. Post content that meets a need, not just what you want to post.
When using social media, you must remember that it is the showroom for your brand, and the display cabinet for your products and services. Everything you show on social media is you and your brand, that is why social media can be exceptionally beneficial to you a s a marketing and sales tool. The contrary is also true.You need to be watchful of any negative ideas or images related to your brand that may appear. These could be poor reviews from customers, but they could just as easily be for a disgruntled employee or from an employee who has had a bad day. Be watchful of the brand image you portray and the image all your employees portray, as each employee is your brand ambassador on social media and you must recognise that and reward positive postings from the employees.
Allow your employees a conduit to feedback all positive and negative feelings and be constructive and active in listening to any negatives by responding quickly and engaging swiftly to nullify negativity.
Social media is purely and simply about being sociable. How can you be sociable on social media? Be persuasive, persistent, practical, pertinent, playful, pleasurable and personable. Show your character and the character of your company and your products and services. All of these build into your brand.
By using these seven principles of social media, you can begin to educate, engage, extol and empower. You can understand how social media can provide you with a forum to reach a vast audience around the globe and through education on your brand, engagement with the audience about the brand, extolling the brand and empowering the audience your audience becomes the customers who in turn become brand advocates.
Accent on Training have been helping companies improve their social media presence and engagement through bespoke marketing strategies. If you need any information or assistance in designing your website, contact us for more information.
Jonathan Moore is the founder of Accent on Training, a Social Media Management, Brand design and website design agency based in Seoul, South Korea. For nearly ten years, he has helped clients in developing their businesses online, branding, website design, and bespoke social media marketing solutions.