Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 21

SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE locally sourced food or community- centered activism. Or perhaps you’re just an advocate of embracing the simple joys in life. It could be anything. What matters is that it’s simply true. (I almost wrote “What matters is that it’s authentic.” But “authentic” has become one of those social buzzwords that has had all the color and life drained out of it, leaving an empty husk of meaning behind. So, I didn’t.) PERSONALIZED, NOT PERSONAL. Social platforms do present an opportunity to show more of the people behind a company. But there’s a fine line between sharing yourself and sharing a little too much of yourself. Actually, I walk this line on both of my accounts. Think of personalizing your brand, not getting personal. The former means showing that you’re a real human being, with actual blood flowing through actual veins. You have a point of view, real character, a personality. The latter is sharing details that are intimate or too specific to you to have relevance for the larger community you are trying to build. Exactly where that line is varies according to your own brand and that of your company. But to give a broad example: It’s one thing to mention feeling under the weather—that’s personalized. It’s another to say you have an irritating rash in a sensitive spot. ALLERGIC TO TOO MUCH AUTOMATION. Obviously, there are many tools that can help manage and scale your social presence. IFTTT (If This Then That) automates tasks such as auto-saving Instagram photos to Dropbox. Buffer, dlvr. it and others can help you manage multiple accounts and multiple users, as well as see the analytics behind your efforts. For growing companies, these tools can be handy time savers. But I don’t rely on automation tools as social shortcuts. And more generally, that day on stage, I suggested that people use them to extend and ease their efforts… not supplant them. I’d like to say that everyone understands this already. But if I had a nickel for every time I got a robo-sent automated direct messages to greet me as a new Twitter follower… well, I’d never fly coach again. (I get a lot every day, on both accounts. Do you do it? OMG. Stop.) IN SOCIAL MEDIA (AND IN LIFE, I SUPPOSE), TRUE ENGAGEMENT TRUMPS TECHNOLOGY. And by the way, I realize that I’m talking mostly about Twitter here. Probably because Twitter seems less constrained, less boxed-in than most other social networks, at least to me. Despite its longevity, Twitter persists as a bit of the Wild West (thank god)—with fewer implied rules and a broader mix of people hanging out there, from teens and Walking Dead to March Madness fans to news outlets. So that’s how I approach it. I suppose some people do all this from one account; I just happen to do it from two. But what about you? I’d love to know how you work it out. + Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author who speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. IBM named her one of the seven people shaping modern marketing. Ann is a digital marketing pioneer and the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, the leading marketing training company with more than 600,000 subscribers. She is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content , and co-author of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business . Her books have been translated into 19 languages, including Turkish, Korean, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese. A LinkedIn Influencer, she has more than 420,000 followers on Twitter and is consistently named one of the more influential marketers on social media. She has contributed commentary and bylines to Entrepreneur magazine, IBM’s Think Marketing, Inc. magazine, Mashable, Huffington Post, American Express, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal. Ann lives in Boston, where she is Mom to creatures two- and four-legged. She is an E.B. White Superfan, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel enthusiast, and a novice tap dancer. She escapes it all by retreating to her tiny-house office, which houses her vintage typewriter collection. annhandley.com 21