Most businesses do work that isn’t very glamorous. That’s not the problem though.
The problem is that these companies whose work is a bit dry mistakenly think that their online content and social media has to be equally dry.
What results is a whole sea of websites and Facebook pages that are yawn-inducing, even for those who work in the same industry. In order to combat that tendency, we’ve come up with some effective strategies that can help any business seem a little cooler online.
1. Be Visual!
The internet allows us to share large and colourful images with more ease than ever before. This can often be seen in the social media pages of businesses large and small, whether they’re using illustration or the more conventional infographics.
Infographics allow for large amounts of data to be communicated in an unintimidating and non-convoluted manner. Long and boring texts can be broken down to their core data, and then conveyed with beautiful graphics and colours.
Illustrations lend a human element to what you’re doing. Many freelance artists will want to blend their own unique ideas and visions with commissioned work, and the result is often an original and eye-catching piece of marketing which you can share with ease, and which has a much greater chance of being shared by your followers.
2. Brag a Little!
After providing a great service or product to your customers, ask them to take a few minutes of their time to provide feedback. If you happen to receive any testimonials which you feel set you apart from the competition, don’t be afraid to share these using your social web presence.
3. Talk About Yourself!
Do you try to run your business in an environmentally friendly manner? Do you provide introductory offers for new customers, or reduced rates for return clients? You may be great at what you do, but what else sets you apart from your competitors? Your passions and unique approach to customer service can serve as a great hook for making your business appear more trustworthy or appealing, and they can inject some much-needed life into your image.
4. Be Social!
Don’t be afraid to use conversational English when interacting with the social sphere. You’ll never connect with (let alone leave a lasting impression on) your audience if you don’t loosen-up a bit. Be approachable, be real and be engaging.
Places like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter encourage a casual demeanour. Approaching them with a ‘numbers-only’ attitude is going to make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing – so put yourself on their level, and always try to respond to queries or mentions when necessary.
5. Be Funny!
Many businesses that are in dry or serious industries tend to shy away from humor, which is exactly the wrong approach. In fact, the more traditional your industry is, the farther humor will go in making you stand out from the crowd. Take a look at brands like GE or H & R Block – despite the fact that their work isn’t sexy or cool, they consistently create funny and edgy content for social media. GE even has a Tumblr called “Bad Ass Machines.” If they can do it, you can do it.
6. Be Personal!
Behind every company is a team of real human beings doing the work, and there’s nothing that people find more interesting than people. Unfortunately lots of businesses ignore this and never, ever highlight the humans behind the business. Given the fact that many of your customers have relationships with these people, they’ll love to see a funny picture of their rep in the office or read a blog featuring a valuable member of your team. This strategy helps you put a face to work that may be less than exciting.
Just because you work in a less than thrilling industry doesn’t mean that your online presence has to be dry as toast. The first step is to get out of your comfort zone. After all, to get the kind of attention you’re looking for online, you have to be willing to take risks and be different.