How Personal Should Your Social Media Be?
There’s been a ton of chatter lately about making your business social media profiles more personal. People offering advice like “Choose 5 Personal Things to Focus On” or “It’s Okay to Show You’re Human”.
Those are awesome snippets of advice to give small businesses, but it seems no one really knows how or if they should get more personal. Think of getting more personal on your social media like wearing khakis or going golfing with your boss. It’s fine to reference your family, but you might not whip out pictures of your 5-year-olds birthday party.
Let’s Get Personal
Generally, the best way to guide yourself is to determine the pillars of your business. What are the core values of what you do? Let’s dive in and break down what we mean into something a little clearer.
Example #1: A Family Pizzeria
If you’re a family-owned pizza shop with a lot of history, your focus is likely on fresh ingredients, pizza, family, and your neighborhood. So, some personal but not too personal touches might include:
- Pictures from a trip to Italy
- Shout-outs to other businesses in the neighborhood
- History about your neighborhood
- Old family photos
- Pictures and videos of you visiting farms or bringing home produce
Each of the ideas above feels personal but still relates back to the business in question, which makes your social media feel approachable, warm and inviting, but not too personal.
Example #2: A Small Bookstore
In this example, we’ll talk about a small bookstore. The focus here is likely on personal service and suggestions, a sense of community, and quiet intimate shopping experience. Some personal suggestions here might include:
- Sharing your personal recommendations
- Sharing what you’re currently reading
- Sharing what your family is currently reading
- Showing pictures of your kids enjoying literature
- Showing photos of your family using cookbooks
- Showing photos of you off sourcing books
- Sharing personal stories about reading
In this example, again you can see that it relates back to the main focus of your social media, which is what your business provides. It feels personal and engaging without crossing lines into unprofessional territories.
Example #3: A Service Provider
We’ve talked about a few types of brick and mortar businesses so now let’s tackle service providers. Maybe you drive all over the place to quote contracts and meet with clients, maybe they come to you – either way, you can still get personal!
In this example, we’ll look at recommendations for a plumber, but you can tailor this to almost any service provider (including us!)
Things you could try to include:
- Snapping photos while you drive to meet with clients (pull over first) – think a pretty sunrise, cool terrain, hilarious license plates, etc.
- Photos of your own plumbing problems and upgrades
- Photos of you sourcing parts and materials
- Photos of your kids/family helping you work on related projects
- If you have an office pet/mascot, photos of their adventures
- Updates about causes you’re passionate about (for example if you specialized in Eco-friendly upgrades to plumbing systems, you could easily share information and articles about how to save more water)
Example #4: 5 Things About You
Now that you have a bit of a grasp on the amount of ‘personal posting’ that could be represented on your social, let’s talk about some muddier waters. This relates back to the 5 things that were referenced at the beginning of the article. This type of strategy works well if you’re trying to build a brand for things like influencer marketing, podcasts, blogs, and so on.
When you’re trying to brand yourself, getting too personal is way too easy. That’s where the “choose 5 things about you” advice really shines.
Pick 5 things that are awesome and you regularly do. If you’re motivating people, maybe you share gym updates and images, pictures of yourself accomplishing things, pictures of the books you read to keep your energy up and a few songs that keep you moving.
If you’re a fashionista, you could post things like your favorite high-end restaurants, your favorite spots for a girls-night-out, your favorite trends or color palettes as well as your favorite places to shop and discover new finds.
If you’re an eco-warrior, maybe you post environmentally friendly recipes, photos of animals, pictures of your family reducing waste, or participating in your initiatives. Maybe you post pictures of events you go to, your favorite products and items, or share tips to reduce your footprint.
None of these examples are much different than any of the other examples, except a person isn’t quite so definable, so the 5 things (or pillars) is basically just asking you to create boundaries and areas to focus your efforts on so that you stay on topic and stay on brand, which helps you focus and excel as a personal brand.
When All Else Fails…
- Stay away from personal drama.
- Stay away from negativity and criticism.
- Keep your content-related and relevant.
- Relate to your customers.
- Share, but don’t overshare.
- Ignore trolls.
- Celebrate your audience.
- And most importantly, have fun.
How do you make your social media more personal? Let us know!