When you come across a marketing message that rubs you the wrong way, what’s wrong with it? Often, it’s that the message comes across as slick and pushy, or that it seems to have been generated in a vacuum without any consideration for the audience’s trending tastes, attitudes and sensibilities.

This impersonal, aloof vibe is unfortunately all too common on corporate social media accounts, and it hurts the branding and image of the business that is unintentionally giving off this vibe.

One of the simplest, most effective things that any business can learn about social media is how to come across as genuine and personal when using it. But this is easier said than done. Here are the most important things you need to know to build a genuine, personal social media presence:

  1. Treat social media as an extension of your customer service — Social media isn’t a platform for you to push out traditional marketing messages for free. It’s a dynamic, multi-purpose system with millions of eyeballs on it. So the first thing to do is make sure you provide exceptional customer service on social media. Just like a customer who walks into your storefront expects to receive personalized, courteous, comprehensive service, so too should your social media accounts be exuding that same level of professionalism. The only difference is you’re doing it all online.
  2. Write the way you would speak — When your audience is scrolling through their social media feeds, your posts will be “consumed” within the span of about one or two seconds – and that’s if you’re lucky and your readers see your posts at all. So don’t use imprecise, muddled, jargon-filled words in your writing. Your audience won’t care if you tried to sound sophisticated or clever or smart; they will just skip right over you.
  3. Create an authentic, strong company voice — Your audience will get to know you over time, so invest in establishing a consistent, distinct company voice – one that will set you apart from your competitors. There’s no need to veer away from your company’s values or image; that will come across as inauthentic and forced. Rather, incorporate your company’s values and image into your voice. Is your corporate voice more authoritative or more friendly and playful? Is it more humble and personal or more clinical and direct? Does it sound more like something your teenage daughter would say or more like something the mayor of your city would say? These are all questions you must answer for yourself as you cultivate your corporate voice. EveryoneSocial’s social media sharing platform makes it easier for companies to maintain a credible genuine company voice by helping employees share the right mix of third-party content and corporate content with customers and potential customers.
  4. Don’t market or pitch to your audience — This should be a no-brainer, but your audience can sense an advertisement or an aggressive marketing message from a mile away. Social media is your opportunity to be clever and appeal to a savvy audience – don’t sabotage that effort by rolling out messages that will be an immediate turnoff to your audience.
  5. Be transparent and truthful — Always do what you say you’ll do, and don’t mislead your audience. Create every piece of your social media content as if all of your fiercest critics and naysayers are watching your every move (because increasingly, they are!).

Social media has incredible potential to reach huge swaths of the public for comparatively little time and money invested, but it also can become a liability for a business that isn’t savvy enough to use it effectively. That’s why it’s worth the investment to ensure your business is doing everything it can to come across as genuine and personal on social media.

EveryoneSocial’s social media sharing platform makes it easier for companies to be genuine on all social media fronts because employees have the ability to share quality third-party content along with company content. This helps organizations’ employees establish themselves as credible thought leaders, not just company-trained bots. Read our guide to employee advocacy to learn more about how your company can start a program today.