I am currently enrolled in the CMPD (Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department) Citizen’s Academy. It is a 15-week program for those in the community to learn more about our police officers and what goes on behind the scenes.
What does this have to do with social media? Well, sort of – everything. Lt. Sean Mitchell, who is the head of the CMPD Police Academy said,
"People say I train future police officers. And, I say, ‘No, I train human beings.’" - Lt. Sean Mitchell, CMPD
That hit me hard. He’s right, he’s training human beings, and then our officers go out and encounter more human beings. That’s exactly what social media is doing, but I think sometimes we forget the human side of it.
Try incorporating these ideas in your marketing this quarter, and let’s #bringhumanback!
1. Talk about the early days.
I started my company 7 years ago in the infancy of social media. My website was sooooo basic, and used a ton of clip art (yikes) and my business cards…let’s not even. But I was proud of it, and it meant I had ‘officially’ launched.
Wayback Machine has archived and crawled the internet from 1996. If you want to have some fun, search for your website, then click on a date that is in a circle.
Note: if for some reason you have lost your website, let the domain expire, or need text or photos that a company withheld, visit this site. You should be able to find your site, and then grab what you need.
I have a client that started out with very humble beginnings of a genius product. She displayed at farmer’s markets, fairs and other craft shows. Signage and product packaging was not fancy. Maybe your logo was scary, show the before and after!
- TO CONSIDER:
- Try a ‘throw-back’ post and talk about the early days.
- Show your clients your transformations.
- Talk about your insecurities at the time.
- Do a split screen with before and afters.
"Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle." - Jon Acuff, Author
2. Bloopers and the Bizarre
In a world of Photoshopped perfection, and everyone’s ‘highlight reel', being transparent could mean the difference between a viral post and a dud.
The best part of some movies is at the end when actors make mistakes and roll the outtakes. So, while I don’t suggest sharing all of your mistakes, harmless ones can be fun. Think ‘Pinterest Fail’, the day you tried to record a video 15 times and someone kept walking in, losing your internet during a live webinar. (Remember that important analyst guy that was on live TV and his kids walked in to his office?)
Behind the scenes videos are always a great idea, and when you have people, you might have a blooper come up. Facebook and Instagram Live are good ones to try.
Encounter something out of the ordinary?
Another example of a post then went bonkers, was for a client of mine that had three horses tied to the bike rack outside the restaurant. Not something you see every day! So, I decided it would be fun to use the ‘old fashioned’ type filter, crop most of the cars out, and see if anyone knew when it was taken.
- Keep your B-roll! Don’t delete bloopers.
- Show your ‘Pinterest’ Fails
- Shoot behind the scene videos or Facebook Live/Instagram Live
- Talk about a time when you messed up.
- Take a photo of the bizarre or out of the ordinary in your day.
You don’t want your competition to know every bit of your business. However, everyone loves an insider secret…even if it’s not that secret.
For example, my daughters and I love Panera’s Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup. I mean, it is amazing. Soooo, I decided to Google the recipe and make it myself at home. It was an EPIC fail. Truly. I wish I had a photo of that. Ew.
However, Panera could say here’s a little secret, we use "this much of this ingredient" in our soup! You might still try it at home, but face it…it will always be better at the restaurant in a bread bowl! It’s not like they are losing sales from it.
- What about a tool that you can’t run your business without?
- Maybe a secret ninja that works behind the scenes to make sure your product is shipped on-time, every time?
- How about talking about a challenge you faced when launching your company so others won’t make the same one?
- What’s a secret ingredient in your recipe?
- How you make X amount of cupcakes in 40 minutes a day – or X amount of whatever.
- How many ‘peaches’ are in your famous peach pie…etc.
Bonus - congratulate your competition
I’m sorry, what did you say? Hey, you should be following your competition to a degree anyway, and Facebook gives you a super easy way to do that and even recommends that you do.
However, if you see your competition winning something in your industry, or maybe they have made a stride that gives your industry a bit more media attention, why not reach out on their Facebook or LinkedIn post or Tweet and comment with a simple – great job, or congratulations. You really never know what these relationships could turn into someday, and their followers will see your genuine sincerity in this act.
I recommend listening to the Social Media Examiner Podcast on ‘How to Generate Revenue with your Content’ to learn more about the human element and direction that content marketing is taking in the future.
“The goal of marketing should be to create markets. When the focus is on people, not necessarily products, companies can sell all kinds of things they never thought about before.” - Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
What other ideas do you have to bring sexy human back to marketing your business?