Let’s be honest: Nobody wants to follow a social media account that tries to sell them a product at every turn. Sure, that’s ultimately the goal of every company ever, but customers appreciate (and often return to) companies with a “Voice” — a clear, likable personality that represents a respectable brand and approachable human behind the computer screen.

A Social Media Manager is (or should be) the Voice of your brand, and utilizes this Voice to appeal to your product or service’s specific demographic. This may take some time to develop, but most of it is common sense: If you’re appealing to Moms with young children, you probably don’t want to tweet a “that’s what she said” joke. If you’re aiming for college kids, writing “you’ve gotta see this” is acceptable. If your demographic runs closer to business professionals, try “You should check this out” instead.

Think of your Social Media Manager as some sort of Puzzle Master with an infinite number of odd-shaped pieces at their disposal: Every post needs to be put together just right in order to get the attention of your audience.

Here are two great examples of Social Media Accounts with strong, non-salesy Voices:




But just writing proper posts isn’t enough. Social media platforms should never restrict themselves by only focusing on “broadcasting” content from Company to Consumer. You want engagement. You want interaction. You want a clear channel of two-way communication. And this doesn’t mean just responding to customer questions via private messages or email; this means reaching out to customers regularly so that they feel like they’re a part of your company. They are your customers, and you care about their thoughts and opinions.

One way to do this is to post relevant content on your wall that your customers would like. Let’s say we’re handling the Social Media accounts of a brand new gym. Relative articles would revolve around training regimens, healthy dieting, general fitness, exercise success stories, etc.. These would be the MAJORITY of the channel’s content, with one or two brand-specific articles once a week. This makes the occasional sales-pushy stuff a lot easier to swallow, and gives people more of a reason to follow your accounts.

And when in doubt over whether your post is good enough or not, add a photo! The #1 tip on the Social Media Examiner’s Ways To Improve Facebook Engagement is to include an image. It’s no big secret that visual content is a hit with followers. Just look at Instagram and Pinterest!

Of course, there’s always the possibility that your fans and followers don’t give a damn about what you post. Maybe they just decided to follow you on a whim! Maybe those daily posts only clog up their feed, and if that’s all you have to offer, they might as well just unsubscribe…but what’s this?

 “Like Us and get $10 off your next appointment!”

“Follow us for monthly coupon codes for free delivery!”

No matter what financial situation you’re in, discounts are awesome. Exclusively offering some sort of prize or perk to people who follow your social media accounts is an easy way to attract and keep followers. Signing up only takes is one click, and you can always unsubscribe at any time with a few clicks more. As far as your followers are concerned, it’s a win-win situation.

Next week I’ll delve into social media contests, why answering angry customers publicly is a good idea, and the importance of making (social media) friends.

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