5 things online dating has taught me about social media strategy.
Finding the right social strategy for your business can be a bit like online dating. You try out many different personas, take plenty of (bad) advice, and use a lot of emojis, all in the hope of finding your “best match.” But when it comes to your business, you’re putting more than just your heart on the line.
In your quest for the perfect social media mix, how can you make sure you have a winning online business persona? As someone who has been on plenty of bad dates, (note to men:”having” a twitter is not the same as “working” at twitter,) I’ve seen dating profiles that range from good, to bad, to just plain confusing. But my online dating mishaps can help you, and your business, from the perils of a bad social presence. So for the sake of hearts, and businesses everywhere, I’ve come up with five simple social tips that will guarantee your business a second date.
1) Convey the Right Tone
When I scan someone’s dating profile, the first thing I notice is the tone. A suitor’s profile should give an overall sense of what they’re like. Are they playful? Adventurous? Driven? I usually draw up 2-3 adjectives based on what ‘vibe’ the profile gives off, your business should be doing the same. Coming up with specific adjectives for how you want people to feel when visiting your social sites will help you pin down a specific tone.
The key to setting the right tone across all of your social networks is identifying your online voice. Are you quirky? Witty? Informed? You know who you are as a business, and your task on social media is to convey that to your customers. You can make your profile as compelling as you’d like, but if you don’t create a tone and brand voice based on the core values of your business, you’re not going to attract the right match.
2) Make Your Message Original
When I’m talking to someone on a dating app, I can tell when they have a “line,” they use to start conversations. When suitors simply copy and paste introductions or openers, it feels impersonal. And I can guarantee your customers feel the same way.
Customers can spot generic messages pretty easily, and they will not respond to messages if they don’t feel a connection. The average consumer is constantly bombarded by brands on social networks. If you don't give them a reason to pause in their scroll, they won’t listen to what you have to say. What sets you apart? Use your originality to craft your message and your content. It’s not too hard to come up with a more engaging intro than, “Hi” or a better Facebook post than, “We’re having a sale.”
3) Show, don't tell.
I have seen tons of profiles that say things like, “I love art” or “I enjoy sailing.” That’s great, but what I’d rather see, is a painting by one of their favorite artists, or a photo of them sailing. Men and women can write all they want about their lives and their passions, but what is more effective, is showing a potential partner what that looks like in action.
Your business is trying to attract the right people, and to do that, you need to show and not tell. For example, customer service is probably a top priority, but instead of telling customers in a Facebook post, demonstrate their value by engaging with them across social platforms and setting up social reward programs. Look to your life, and also within your business for actual examples of your passions, and share those passions in a creative way.
4) Stay Positive
In a recent poll, Marie Claire magazine found that 96 per cent of people would rather see a big, happy grin in a profile photo than a sexy pout. In dating, and in the social sphere, positivity is sexy! Countless studies have shown that on dating sites and dating apps, we gravitate towards the profiles of people who smile in their pictures, and not surprisingly, seem to lead happy and content lives.
But positivity goes beyond a great set of pearly whites. It seems straight-forward, be we are more inclined to feel a connection to, and “like” or “share” good news on social media than we are negative stories. Customers are attracted to businesses and products that make them feel good. So if you’re happy and you know it, post away!
5) Be yourself
Don’t stretch the truth, even on minor details. To take an example from my dating playbook. Let’s say a guy is five-foot-ten, but he decides he’ll seem more attractive if he says he’s six-foot-one. Well, rounding up was a bad idea, when we meet in-person, I’m expecting what’s advertised. At the end of the day, the difference between 5’10” and 6’1” doesn’t matter to me at all! What does, is honesty. When I notice he fudged those numbers, I will probably wonder what else he sugarcoated.
Just as honesty goes a long way in the dating world, it’s always the best policy for your business. In fact, you do yourself a disservice pretending to be the kind of business you think customers want, rather than the kind of business you are. “Sugarcoating” or adapting too much to online and social trends will set you up to attract customers that will not be loyal to your business. Plus, it will start your business, and personal relationships off on the wrong foot. Pay attention to what’s trending, but being your authentic self will go farther in turning social into sales.
Your business profile is your own unique, customizable area of the social world. Just like a dating profile, it should convey a compelling story about your business. Who you are, where you’re from, and maybe a little bit about where you’re looking to go. Keeping these tips in mind will help you attract the best customers, and maybe even get a a couple of second (or third, or fourth) dates along the way. And remember, according to the experts, honesty, patience, and a well-thought-out profile may be all you and your business needs to find happily ever after.
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