More companies are sharing more content in social media, but when a social media user has a conversation with your business, does your voice branding back up your content - and is it "human" enough to deepen online relationships?
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Welcome to another edition of social business Unplugged. Practical advice on how to leverage social media for your business. Now the host of Social Business Unplugged, author of the forthcoming book Maximize Your Social, published by Wiley and founder of Windmill Networking Meal Schaefer. Greetings, everybody and welcome to another episode of social business. Unplug Today I want to talk a little bit about content in branding. I recently had a chance to speak to a group of employees of Lincoln actually at a global offsite that they were having and linked in because 50% of their sales come from HR related Enterprise Software Solutions talks a lot about employment branding, and it's not just linked in, but really the HR industry is talking about this notion of having a strong corporate brand as an employer, which then will help you really recruit better talent potentially quicker and at even a less expensive cost. I'm not gonna talk about employment branding and their other experts out there that could probably say a lot Maur a lot better things than I can. But the notion of branding, obviously is popular, has always been popular in marketing and in social media we hear a lot about it as well. We also hear a lot about content and in fact, content. Marketing is not the same a social media marketing. But there is definitely an overlap, which anybody who understands both of the concepts can clearly speak thio. Social media represents this conversion of information and communication that I've been talking about for the past few years, and I think it just bears reminding for the topic of this conversation and with the advent of content marketing and this notion that cos we're sort of at a disadvantage and social media, social media was created for people, not businesses. What are you going to talk about? And for a lot of companies that turns out to be content, especially those in the B two B field. Potential buyers make purchasing decisions based on information and comparing that information, and it's the same for consumer brands as well. We look at reviews on Yelp when we decide on restaurants. When we look at hotels, maybe go to trip advisor for books and other things we go to Amazon and so on and so on. So a lot of companies are spewing out a lot of content and content takes many, many forms. Yes, there's blood post. There's podcasters videos. There's also photos. There is also things like infographics there, things like Poles. There are questions that you can ask that we see many brands and people asking on Facebook, which I would consider a type of content like an engagement question would be the category of content that I would put that in. There's even discussions beginning a discussion in a Lincoln Group is another type of little bit different than your Facebook type of engagement question. But it nevertheless is another type of content. Companies can put out the best looking infographics possible and attract a lot of people to their social media profiles and even generate new leads and attract a lot of Web site traffic just through the art of relevant content in relevant social media channels. But at the end of the day, people do business with people that they like people by products from companies that make them feel good, and there may come a point where you're providing all this content social media, but then you need to have a conversation. This is where the notion of branding it really comes down to you are what you tweet. So obviously the example of an infographic. It's a graphic or a blogger post. It's should be well branded, and I always talk about branding guidelines. Needing to add voice for social media and a blogger post is really your social voice. What you belong about should be written in Web copy like text but Maur of a social voice that is representative, your company's brand on social media. But at the end of the day, it's the social media users that will determine the brand of companies because they're only going to see limited things of what you post in social media channels, especially on a platform like Twitter, where you only have 140 characters. But even on Facebook, Google Plus it would have you Cos aren't posting really long messages. It's not only your choice of words that you use, but it's also on how you engage. Whether you engage with people that engage with you is one thing, but how you engage with them so you may want to be considered the thought leader in your industry, and you write the most compelling content But when people engage with you or your company, they feel that there's a gap because maybe you don't exhibit the same human skills that's others would want to see in you. Perhaps as a company, you want to be open to anybody. But maybe whoever is the community manager or whoever is tweeting on behalf of your company maybe isn't as open or maybe is a little bit more opinionated. Then you would want to be in social media. I don't think that there are many companies about this problem, but I do see it come up and I see it come up a lot with individual people of professionals and their personal social media accounts of actually picking sides, picking people that they want to support, picking people that they don't want to support and the language that they bring into social media conversations often represents. That and this is the dangerous pitfall that we have as professionals and his companies is that we're creating content as part of whatever objective we may have, which is in our own social media strategies. But for a lot of companies, it's Lee generation. It's thought leadership. It's building community when have you, but you have to back up that content with the person with the human side, with how you communicate with people in social media. It is the basic human skills. That's just like you're listening to me talk. I'm not a superhuman. I may be very active in social media. It's something that I do for a living. But if you had a chance to talk to me and I hope you realize that from listening all these podcasts, I'm a normal Joe asked Erin Lee on Twitter, one of my window networking bloggers would talk about where average people. You should be able to pick up a Skype conversation with anyone that you meet on social media and have a normal conversation. But if how you represent your company and you how you represent yourself in social media, if you're not creating those messages in that fashion that all can work against you, no matter how thought compounding your content is, it could actually blow up in your face because no one wants to communicate with you. No one wants to talk with you. People feel that you and maybe the company represent our abrasive or our unsocial. I guess there's a lot of adjectives I can use there. So the best test for this is have someone that, you know, take a look at your tweets. Take a look at your company tweets or your Facebook posts or your Google plus post Or what have you and ask them if you knew nothing about me or my company Looking at the conversations that I or my company is having with all these people. How would you describe me? How would you describe my company? You would hope that they would say positive things. And if there's anything that they say that is not align with the branding that you want to portray of yourself in your company. On social media, you have an issue that you need to deal with. I could go on for minutes of not ours on the subject. I'm gonna stop here. You'll notice. By the way, my previous podcast logged in at 17 minutes, and this podcast was originally created to be an eight minute podcast knowing that we're all busy, you don't have a lot of time and really, this limitation that my Apple iPhone five had, which is you could only email up to eight minutes of a voice recording to anybody, so I limited to eight minutes so that I could get it under the eight minutes and send it to my audio engineer. The interesting thing is, since that first several podcast two weeks ago, I actually changed. And if you follow me on Google plus you'll see a very robust conversation in the comments that has enraged a lot of people on both sides of the fence. But I recently changed for an iPhone five to a Samsung Galaxy s four, and this podcast is not about mobile technologies. What have you. But I just want to say that as representative of Android versus IOS, I am not limited by these things. Aiken record as much as I want and sends much as I want only limited by the probably 20 megabyte limitation that Google will place on me for sending from Gmail or to another Gmail account, which happens to be what my audio engineer has. So if you're wondering about the power of android phones and of the Samsung Galaxy s four just thought I'd throw that out there. Anyway, this concludes this podcast I hope that you found value in it. This podcast is not for me. It's really for you. I come up with topics that come from conversations that I have with clients or when I speak at conferences or in the writing of block poster books. I really do appreciate your input. Please feel free to contact me. Neil. Windmill networking dot com. If there's anything like that here and once again a really appreciate your ratings on iTunes and you're sharing in social media, that's it. Everybody, thank you very much for listening and make it a great day. Bye bye. Thanks for listening to another edition of Social Business Unplugged. We appreciate your subscribing to our podcast. Please help us spread the word by sharing it on social media or adding your rating and comments in iTunes. If you would like to appear on the podcast or have content that you would like covered, please contact Neil Schaefer. Kneel at windmill networking dot com. Also, please subscribe to the windmill networking blogger on social media strategy at windmill networking dot com. Thanks again and make it a great day