A few weeks ago, MINDSCAPE decided to have a party at our office in honor of National Margarita Day. We laid out the snacks, mixed up the drinks, and invited the other tenants of our building to mix and mingle. Our building is home to a staffing agency, a construction company and a few non-profits (so businesses and organizations that don't have much in common other than sharing a geographic location). But everyone had a great time and we all had the opportunity to meet some people we might not have otherwise .
Yes, we could have just invited other marketing professionals; but we wanted to expand our horizons, branch out, meet new people and build a little good will in the community.
The MINDSCAPE margarita party got me thinking about how interacting with new people for the benefit of your organization and networking can take many shapes and forms. The idea of branching out can be applied to your organization's social media efforts. Follow people and organizations in your community and interact with them.
I mean, isn't that kind of the point of social media, to use it TO BE SOCIAL?
I know that in the field of Inbound Marketing, we spend a lot of time talking about getting to know your buyer personas and using social media to interact with them, and don't get me wrong while this is EXTREMELY important, using social media to interact only with them can be a bit limiting. There's so much more that you can do! It's a great avenue to get your organization's name out there and build some brand awareness and recognition; and not just among your buyer personas.
After all, you never know who you might end up connecting with and how that can be beneficial for your organization down the road. If you show some support for them, they might return the favor and get your name out to their network.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Is there a nearby restaurant or coffee shop that your employees frequent? If someone goes there, mention it on social media (on the proper channels of course, but I'll get to that in a minute). Post a picture, comment on the food, the atmosphere, or whatever else your team enjoys about the place.
- Is there a non-profit in your community that is doing some awesome work? If they have a good post, "like" it or share on your own social media (adding a bit of text commending them on the great things they do for the community).
- Do your employees attend community events (local festivals, networking mixers, fundraisers, etc.) and represent your organization? Take a few pictures, post them, and give a shout out to the organization that hosted the event.
The possibilities are endless! More casual social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) are great platforms to use for these types of interactions. Of course, it's important that any posts fit with how your brand uses that particular channel. For example, if your company only uses Twitter for event and product promotion, then a shout out to the local coffee shop might not be appropriate. It's also important to remember that no matter what you are posting, you are still representing your brand and need to adhere to any brand style guidelines that your organization has in place.
Expanding your social circle is just one way of stepping up your social media game. Another is getting organized and planning some of your posts in advance. A content calendar can be extremely helpful for doing this. Go ahead, click the button below and give ours a shot!