I was in power mode yesterday. I had finally started my laundry downstairs, and was settling into a nice quiet evening of spaghetti (read: a vehicle for parmesan cheese), reruns of The Office, and writing. I was unstoppable.
Queue my laundry alarm. I hurried downstairs, expecting that the dryer would probably be done after 45 minutes. Wrong. There was a guy in the laundry room waiting for the dryer, so I stuck around in order to be there to empty my laundry ASAP.
We had run into each other a couple times previously, and before long we were chatting up a storm. No writing was going to happen as long as I was down here. Pretty soon, we broke out the wine and were having a great time (Yes, still in the laundry room. Don’t you wish you were still 21?).
I finally stopped the dryer after an hour forty-five (Side note: My clothes were about 5 minutes from becoming a fiery ball of lint. They were HOT.). But rather than go back upstairs to my power mode workstation, I ended up spending the evening hanging out with my new friend.
There’s a message here, and it’s not just about laundry room friendships. Whether you’re sharing random details of your life with someone you just met or tweeting to 500,000 followers for a client, there is a right and a wrong way to communicate. Like the sullen teenager manages to answer every question with a single syllable response or the overly caffeinated cheerleader whose 200wpm doesn’t give you a word edgewise, your communication through social media can be ineffective, uninspiring, or worst, annoying.
When properly executed, social media gives brands an opportunity to build an identity that is more personable and relatable to consumers. Rather than force-feeding advertisements to consumers, brands can foster conversations and ultimately turn the focus back to where it belongs: on the consumer.
The key there is “when properly executed.” We’ve all seen brands do it wrong to varying degrees. Nobody cares if you’re on [insert social network here] if you’re not using it to effectively engage with other users.
As social networks climb in the SERPs, the community you have developed will have an increasing amount of influence on your brand’s SEO and overall web presence. It doesn’t matter if you post or tweet 50 times a day (I don’t recommend it.). If the content doesn’t delight users and foster an incentive to respond or share, you haven’t achieved much.
Post content that inspires interaction. Actually respond to your consumers. Be genuine. Do your laundry. It’s that easy.