They are important words. If you have authority and influence in your field of expertise, then there are people that are following your leadership. They are learning and growing. They are buying your products and services. All of that is good.
However, if you are trying to build authority and influence, you may be getting advice that is hurting you rather than helping you.
The other day I was interacting on Google Plus and a conversation started about the “proper way” to create authority online. One person's perspective was that posting anything other than business related items was cluttering up the stream. Serious people that want to build authority should stay on topic at all times.
I disagree and today I'll share why.
Question: Should I share personal, fun, cute, non-business related things on my social media profiles?
Many “social media experts” say no. I say yes, but do it strategically and within your character and branding.
There is a reason it is called social media and not broadcast media.
Businesses that only post their blog posts, podcasts and offers, with nothing else in between are often looked at as spammers. When all you are doing is broadcasting, you have less of an opportunity to build relationships.
Business and Fun Have Been Combined for Centuries
Conceptually, this is no different than how business has been conducted for centuries — the combination of business and fun. Here are some examples:
- Would you go to a face to face networking meeting and only talk about your authority topic? No! You'd have a conversation and find commonalities with the people you meet. You have conversation openers. You'd build relationships.
- When business is conducted on the golf course it is a combination of fun and business.
- There is a best selling book on making sales called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi that teaches how to build relationships, food and business.
- Even in the corporate space there are breaks around the water cooler, at lunch, celebrating birthdays or a “food day.”
Look to Your Brand for Guidance
Some brands are “all business” — I think of suit and tie IBM of years past.
Others have a much more relaxed brand — Apple came on the scene with a totally different vibe.
What is your brand about? Even if you are your brand, you should have words that define who you are. I call it your BE list.
What type of relationship do you want to build with your clients/customers? That relationship starts long before they buy from you.
I found that when I was simply posting “authority” content I was not getting much engagement, not to mention it was boring for me!
We are multidimensional people.
Look to Your Ideal Client Profile for Guidance
You can call it an avatar, niche, target market or ideal client profile, but what ever you call it; you should have one! Who are you serving?
- What do they like?
- What do they need?
- Where are they at in life?
- What are their dreams?
- Do they love to laugh?
- Are they adventuresome?
How this Can Work for You
Connect on a human level! I'm not suggesting that you have to become friends with everyone that you connect with online. That may or may not be your style or branding. However, by using fun, inspirational or personal posts strategically along with posts that are value added in your area of expertise, you can grow your community faster.
Let me give you an example:
I love quotes. I have been collecting them for years. They inspire and guide me. I share them continuously on Twitter. I pick quotes that align with me and my brand. Sometimes they are inspirational and sometimes they are more business focused. I have many people that share those tweets and help me get bigger exposure. I also have a number that will reply to a quote I've shared and a conversation happens. Over time, that grows.
Everything in Moderation
Just like it's not a good idea for me to eat an entire gluten free cheesecake in one sitting (no matter how tempted I might be to do so), you need to consider moderation for your posts too. If you are on social media to ultimately grow your business, make sure that you are thinking through your posting strategy and have a ratio of fun/personal to business related posts.
I'd love to give you the number of fun posts to business posts, but that magic number does not exist. Test it!
The ratio is going to be different for every business because the brand and audience are different.
A person multiple times a day talking about their hiking trips might not make sense if they are a financial coach. However, what if they sold outdoor equipment or were a health coach?
Figure out your optimum frequency. One way to do that is to monitor the engagement you are getting on your posts.
Question: What do you do? How do you infuse relationship building into your social media interactions?
Live Fully -- Love Openly -- Laugh Often -- Leverage Your Brilliance -- Connect Authentically -- Get Your Message Out -- Serve with Impact -- Prosper Everyday