Imagine you’re at a conference. You’re attending a panel discussion on the power of metrics and analytics. The speakers start walking onto the stage, and they’re all dressed very professionally, very formal. They could be speaking at a conference or attending a gala. You can already picture them. They look the part. They look successful. They look like people you should listen to. They look how you expect them to look. The last panelist walks on stage wearing jeans, sneakers, and a crew neck sweater. Which of the panelists has your attention?
We all know the answer, and we all know why. Well, we think we know why. It’s because this speaker is dressed differently than the others, right? Obviously, he’s going to stand out. But what else is drawing your eye? What else makes you want to listen? What makes you trust him as a member of this panel?
By dressing differently than the others, this panelist is exhibiting several attractive characteristics that give the audience an immediate impression of who he is: honesty, confidence, and courage. Those same characteristics are essential to building an attention-grabbing presence on social media. Let’s break them down a bit.
With literally millions of social media posts hitting phone screens every minute, how can anyone possibly stand out and gain traction? It starts with being honest. Be true to your brand. Don’t start with a focus on what your audience may want to see or hear. Focus first on your brand’s truth. Be honest with your audience, and your audience will be honest in their response.
People crave truth and authenticity. It’s why we like to watch movie bloopers. We enjoy the real human moments. It’s interesting and fun to see actors in a serious drama doubling over laughing because someone forgot a line.
In the world of social media, where so many accounts are perfectly curated or focused on what will get the most Likes, honesty is crucial if you want a truly committed, engaged audience.
There’s a reason one of the best pieces of advice when meeting a new person is to “just be yourself.” When you’re building a brand on social media, every new follower is potentially meeting you for the first time, so be yourself and let them into the real you.
When you’re honest with yourself and with others, you display a level of confidence that is naturally attractive. Multiple scientific studies have confirmed that we’re drawn to confident people. We trust them. We want to follow them because, if for no other reason, they seem to know what they’re doing.
Confidence on social media works the same way. If it’s clear to your audience that you’re being true to who you are and not just doing what everyone else is doing, you build a community of trust. Your confidence in your brand makes your followers confident in their decision to follow you and buy from you.
When Apple launched its “Think Different” campaign, they weren’t just telling the world that they thought differently than everyone else, they were saying that they were willing to think differently. They were not afraid to go against the grain and forge a new path. And when someone bought an Apple product, they carried that same energy into their own lives. They felt part of the “Think Different” crowd.
Whether your company sells computers or coffee or cars, show your audience that you’re confident in your product, your brand, and your company ethos. Do not stray from your core mission and vision because you think that’s what the audience wants to see.
And if that vision happens to get out of step with what is “normal” or expected in your industry, so be it. It’s who you are. Don’t hide it. Be proud of it.
People like being surprised, even if we think we don’t. Surprises get our brains out of autopilot. They refocus us.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “stop the scroll” when talking about social media marketing. If most people mindlessly and quickly scroll through their social media feeds, how do you get them to pause, if even for a moment, on your post?
Which leads us back to our panelist in jeans. How did he get your attention? He surprised you. You didn’t expect the last speaker to show up in jeans, and his attire refocused you. It was interesting. But it took some guts to be the one to stand out.
When thinking of your social content, have the courage to go away from what your audience would expect from you – so long as you’re staying true to your core and not just going for shock value.
If you sell shoes, your audience probably expects posts about shoes. So, if all you post is shoes, most people will scroll right by because we instinctively process what we see without giving it a thought. But what if you posted a photo of a person with no shoes on? That’s kinda weird for a shoe company. Maybe the person is holding the shoes, or the shoes are in the background.
While it may not feel like a groundbreaking post, subtle moves like that show the audience that the company is so sure of itself and its products that they don’t need to push them in your face every time. Lifestyle posts that aren’t directly promoting products help build brand loyalty by attracting customers who don’t like being sold to – and really, that’s nearly all of us.
Again, it takes some guts because it’s going to feel counterproductive to sell shoes by not featuring the shoes. But trust us, the audience will reward you for your honesty, confidence, and courage.
Ready to take the leap and be honest, confident and courage with your social media audience? Schedule a call with us today.