Countless social media outlets are available today, with more being born even as you read this. It’s the way people engage with the world and is changing the way we communicate. Because there are so many social media options, people use the different outlets for different things. This is an important aspect to take into consideration when looking to reach the right audience for things like social selling or employee advocacy. For example, people are much more likely to want to engage in conversation about their profession or services they can offer on LinkedIn rather than Facebook. Not only will they have a more targeted audience, but also an audience that’s willing to have a conversation, or at least not be turned off by something they don’t want to hear in that specific place.

Social media is certainly blurring the lines between personal and professional relationships, but it’s still something that needs to be handled carefully. For example, people who kill time scrolling through their Instagram feeds are often just wanting to keep up with friends and family through a fun photo instead of starting a long conversation about their career. This is why it’s important to weigh the different strengths and weaknesses of different social media outlets and pick the right context for the conversation you want to start. Some social media websites even cater specifically to brand-to-brand communication and advocacy, and would be an ideal place to start a conversation and get your company‚Äôs information out there.

Once you’ve decided on the right social media outlet to use to connect with your audience, you need to develop the right kind of message. Because social media is no new thing, people can recognize authenticity when they see it (or the lack thereof). It’s important to give the global audience more credit because they’ll often know when someone is trying to sell them something. This is where things like employee advocacy come into play. Instead of a brand or company doing all of the marketing and advertising itself, directly from a company account, they’ll have their employees do some promotion for them. This offers a much more personal appeal and makes use of the different circles employees of the company are already in. People are much more likely to trust hearing from a friend who works for a company over hearing from the company itself.

One of the best ways to win over an audience is transparency. Employee advocates should be comfortable sharing where they work and why it matters to them or why it could matter to the people they’re connected with on social media. Social media is also a great platform for thought leadership and contributing to meaningful conversation. Whether it’s through original posts and content, or joining in the conversations of others, finding the best context will help people be more receptive to your company’s message. Helping others and finding unique opportunities to share information can be much more conducive to promoting a company or brand because of the relationships it can form. Personal connections can make all the difference.