Designed to make communication instant, global, diverse, and limitless, social media can work wonders – whether for your business or for your personal brand.
Today we’re faced with a kind of digital paradox: technology is meant to create more interaction and communication between people, but with virtual contact, some of us are left feeling out of touch.
Social media is a prime example of this.
So, how do you communicate meaningfully when the Web is so saturated with blogs, posts, images, likes, and comments from every person and their dog?
We sat down with Franc Carreras to discuss the power of online media. Franc is a digital marketing expert with a six-figure social media following, adjunct lecturer at ESADE university in Barcelona, founder of a string of startups, blogger at Pildoras Digitales, and former Director of Digital Marketing at Sony.
For Franc, the impact of digital presence is proven – he reveals that almost a third of his business opportunities come directly from LinkedIn alone.
But right off the bat, Franc makes one thing clear about modern business and networking from his point of view:
“I think B2B is a bit of an oxymoron. I don’t think businesses do business with businesses. I think it’s business people doing business with business people. When you go down to that, you realise that in social media, it’s almost the same. It’s just the numbers are different.”
It’s simple – business, like social media, is driven by people. People exchange ideas, engage in discussions, and talk (back) to each other with the click of a ‘Reply’ button.
What distinguishes social media from traditional media is just this: creators and consumers exchange roles, communication is democratised, and content is accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
But with this visibility and opportunity for interaction comes responsibility. No stranger to the wonders of social media marketing, Franc shares three tips (among many other pearls of wisdom!).
Tip 1: Get Over Yourself
“It’s not about you; it’s about them […] people don’t follow you because of who you are. They follow you because of who they are. Once you realise that, you stop talking about yourself, you stop talking about what you’re doing, and you start talking about what they care about.”
Ultimately, the ‘look-at-me’ mentality prevalent among certain social media users is not the best approach. Not only does this tend to result in communication that is neither meaningful nor interesting to the audience, but some even believe it to be damaging to society.
Those who are increasingly disengaging and disconnecting from social networks such as Facebook lament the overload of self-absorbed content that speaks of, but not to someone.
Tip 2: Speak To A Community, Not To ‘Followers’
Going off of Tip 1, Franc highlights the multi-directional and collective nature of communication.
Inspired by a fellow Spanish influencer boasting a sizeable blog and half a million followers, he reminds us of the need to recognise the humanity of your audience.
To quote another Spanish blogger, Franc asserts:
“It is my job to provide a service to my community.”
And here, once again, we realise that social media is nothing without its social aspect.
Once the focus shifts away from the content creator and on to the audience, the approach, and tone of the content changes.
If used for business, social media can also be an invaluable tool to promote and extend your employer brand.
The online ‘community’ to which you speak as a business may be completely unfamiliar with your company, which is why a clear and defined brand image (think: mission, values, company culture) is key.
Cohesion, collaboration and mutual understanding amongst your employees will also boost social engagement and credibility, as those who represent your business can further reinforce your presence and attest to your company’s employee experience.
Tip 3: Video Killed The
Radio Text Post Star
“Use video. Everyone can get a camera, a tripod, and a microphone.”
According to Franc, this is more relevant than ever before. With the development of media technologies (both hardware and software), content formats have diversified just as much as content platforms and themes. The success of the video broadcasting platform YouTube proves just this.
Franc outlines the benefits of quality video production:
“Once you get used to [utilising video], you’re actually replicating face-to-face [communciation] in a very powerful way […] if you’re able to summarise what you have to say in two or three minutes of video, and you put it in a place like LinkedIn or Twitter, and you communicate to the people that care about what you have to say.”
As a format, video is powerful in its visual, dynamic, and (usually) concise nature. It puts a face (or identifiable image) to the content, and can unite verbal and non-verbal communication (through speech/narration, audio, and mixed media) to deliver the message in a far more enticing way.
Hungry for more on how to maximise your online presence? Discover how to stay true to yourself and grow your audience on social media by listening to our full podcast!