“Charlie Brown says that we’re put here on earth to make others happy.”
“Is that why we’re here? I guess I’d better start doing a better job… I’d hate to be shipped back!”
― Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 6: 1961-1962
I always enjoyed Charlie Brown. For someone who was portrayed as the perpetual failure, he was one of the most lovable, uniquely endearing comic characters. His simple, straight-forward laments over life and it’s trying situations gave me many a good chuckle. The thing about good ole’ Charlie was that he was always trying to make a good impression—on his Valentine that never was, on his dog Snoopy, on his best friend Linus, on the red-haired girl he didn’t have the courage to approach, and so on. So much so that he was forever stressed out about getting better at something, anything; and impressing someone, anyone. He swings between being a ‘hero’ and being a ‘goat’!
How important are first impressions anyway? Here is one analysis.
In the world of B2B marketing, is our tryst with our target audience becoming somewhat like the life of Charlie Brown? Are we grappling with the twists and turns of the digital marketing landscape to find favour with our audiences? How far are we succeeding at this? As Charlie Brown says, “Few people are successful unless other people want them to be.” These “other people” are the ones that matter—the ones you need to impress and engage.
In this regard, social media is a double-edged sword. All it takes is a split-second for your prospects and customers to Like or Unlike you.
So how can you make a killer first impression on social media?
Try these 5 steps:
1. Clarity Is Key
In the constant ‘noise’ created by digital marketing, it is important to be heard loud and clear, but not in an obtrusive way. Your messaging and communication on social media needs to have focus and clarity in order for your audience’s to recognize your voice, get familiar with it, and begin to like it.
2. Be Consistent
A wishy-washy social image is far worse than not having a social presence at all. The impression your brand creates on social platforms must be consistent with the impression your audiences take away from other properties, both offline and online.
3. Balance Emotion And Logic
People love stories, and social channels offer a tremendous opportunity to strike an emotional chord with your audience through storytelling. You have to know, however, when to reach out to their logical side. While an endearing story of how your product or service made a difference to someone’s life may be very touching, or funny, or inspiring, it may not be compelling enough to drive a call to action such as requesting a free trial. You probably need to share some facts and figures related to enhanced efficiencies, productivity, ROI, etc. before you progress your prospects into that stage of engagement.
4. Create A Social Media Policy And Get Employee Buy-In
As I’ve said before, your employees are your biggest pool of content creators and contributors. You will find huge benefit in encouraging and empowering them to add value to your social presence. It’s important to ensure that everyone is on the same page about messaging, voice, personas and everything your brand stands for and wants to communicate. The way to achieve this is by creating a social media policy with easy to understand, easy to follow guidelines. Even though this article is not recent, it is worth reading because it shares industry best practices and includes links to the social media policies of 5 industry-leading brands.
5. Keep The Freshness Alive
It’s easy to misinterpret the goals of consistency and clarity to mean “same old, same old”. But that’s not the way it should be. Yes, there are certain visual elements, design aspects, key brand messages, etc. that must pervade your social media activities. It shouldn’t stop you from stirring things up and creating an interesting “flare” every once in a while. People like novelty, and as long as it appeals to them—it’s meaningful, relevant, useful, interesting, humorous, thought-provoking, inspirational—you are on a strong footing. Whatever you do, don’t let your social impression get stale, dull, and boring. Use Infographics, video, opinion polls, interactive presentations, promotions, and any other tools you can apply in order to keep things fresh.
5 Resources To Help You Make A Powerful Social Impression
What’s the first impression your company makes online? When customers come to any of your online properties, when you Google your company, what do you see? Do your customers visit you online, look around and say, “Yes, I’m in the right place”? Or are they confused? Or do you turn them off by not speaking to their needs, or worse, not speaking to human beings at all?
In today’s world, customers are 57% through the sales process before engaging a sales representative, so your prospects are over 50% of the way through the sales process before even talking to anyone from your company! What does this mean? They are checking out your website, blog, social media profiles, and just anything they can find before deciding to talk to you. This is why first impressions are so important. Your goal is to convince them to come back. Your first impression is made without you (a real person from your company) but we need to get prospects to come back over and over again to continue with the sales process.
I found these resources to be quite useful and am happy to share them with you.
- LinkedIn: best practices for your company page
- LinkedIn: how to create the perfect profile
- Facebook: how to create the perfect company page
- Twitter: how to perfect your profile
- Here’s an “all in one” checklist (for musicians and bands—but I think we can all take some handy tips from it)
This article was written by Louis Foong from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.