When was the last time you saw a post from a brand on a social network and thought to yourself “Wow, they really get me!”. Yeah, that doesn’t happen to me much either. More often than not brands post about their product, or maybe–just to be different–share a user comment about how great their product is. Feeling all warm and fuzzy now? I doubt it.

When I talk about #mindfulsocial, I’m not talking about deep meditative conversations, though they do happen. I’m talking about being mindful of what you post and it’s impact on the reader. Whether you’re a brand or an individual what you say on social media is a reflection of you. I invite you to take a moment and look over your last 10 posts to social media networks. If you were someone else, who’s never met you and doesn’t know your brand, what would you think of you? Snarky? Funny? Insightful? A walking sales pitch? Now, how do you want people to perceive you?

Certainly we all want to be seen as human for starters. People relate to other people, not sales pitches and marketing jargon. As Bryan Kramer, author of There is no B2B or B2C: Human to Human says, “Until we learn to be mindful of what and how we share – what I call our “social body language” – and exercise our human empathy toward the mistakes and failures of strangers and the people we know, the online world of communication will remain somewhat of the Wild West.”.

Even a great story can fail to be successful if it’s not told in a compelling way
You have to know who you are speaking to and speak to their hearts in order for them to hear it. Give some thought about who you are writing for, make it human. In today’s fast paced world brevity is key, giving too much information can deaden your message.

In Nancy Duarte‘s TED talk she gives powerful insight on how to tell a story that is compelling and creating a story structure that can be readily received by your reader. She points out that the presenter is not the hero. If nobody takes the idea and runs with it, the idea presented dies.

In your story you are not the hero. It’s not your brand or your product either.

The hero of your story is the reader.
It’s the person who gets what you are doing and is so amazing they tell their friends, their boss and the girl next door. They carry your message beyond your reach.

You are a mentor for the hero. You inspire and inform them. Help them make smart choices. Offer options to solve their problems. Show them the path to their own success. You empower the hero and they carry your message for you.

#MindfulSocial is about being thoughtful and considering your hero. How do you inspire, inform and empower them?