Social Media: Is it a Trick or a Treat?

Mallory DuncanWe all use social media in our daily lives. I’m sure you at least see it every day, whether or not you have an account (and if you don’t, you are a rare breed and congratulations for holding out!). Some of us (un)lucky people manage both personal and professional accounts.

When our lives are consumed by social media, how do you keep things fresh and interesting while managing accounts? It’s not like you can post pictures of your dog to get likes and retweets.

Because we have so much going on, sometimes social media can be scary and a chore. You have to think things through again and again before posting … especially if you work in an atmosphere where social media is monitored and needs to maintain a certain level of professionalism (like my accounts associated with state government).

However, I think social media is a good tool and can be a treat to help grow your business, instead of a trick.

Here are a couple of ideas to keep things exciting and innovative on your professional accounts.

Find the Stories

There are stories everywhere. Stories help connect people to your business or product. I’m passionate about finding a story in everything. I truly believe everyone has a story to tell and they fit into your organization for a specific purpose. Find that purpose. Tell their story as it relates to your business.

  • Showcase a person who has been at your company for years
  • Tell a story about how your company has affected someone in a profound way
  • Get people talking. Usually, something interesting is out there if you listen for it.

To tell stories, you must be innovative. And as a challenge … if I can make CONSTRUCTION interesting, what can you do with your company?

Know Your Audience

We all have multiple social media accounts. But do you know who reads your tweets? What about your Facebook posts? The age range is very different with these platforms and the times people are using them. Use that to your advantage. Don’t spend time crafting a tweet for 12 p.m. when you won’t get a lot of interaction.

Also, do you know what people are looking for on those platforms? Twitter is much faster and the attention span is shockingly low. You have two seconds to hook someone on Twitter. You better make that two seconds worth it. Facebook allots you a little more time, but not much. Once you start to understand your audience, you’ll be rewarded with many “treats.”

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Start thinking about what you already do in your position. Do you write the employee newsletter? How can you turn those articles into social media posts? If you’re already creating content, there’s no reason you can’t modify it for social media. This will get you thinking about your company and maybe post something a little different that will grab someone’s attention. Something that is normally internal can be made external with a little tweaking. It’s a lot easier to come up with content you’ve already written!

Overall, social media is a valuable tool. It can be scary to maintain a presence, but hopefully, with these hints, it gets you thinking outside the box to use it as a free tool, so you and your company can reap the benefits.

Mallory Duncan is the Communication Director for the East Central District INDOT.