Use more technology, but be more human.
That last sentence seems kind of like an oxymoron doesn’t it? But it’s an important lesson to remember when you are managing social media platforms for an organization. As technology advances and online marketing becomes the norm, people are increasingly looking for a human touch amongst the cyber-babble.
This is even more important if you are managing the social media of an association or other non-profit. People are drawn to these organizations exactly because they offer something distinctly human. They offer networking, mentors, a helping hand and a chance to give. All these benefits come with personal stories and the opportunity to make a life or several lives better.
But the question remains, how does one keep from sounding like a robot on social media, a mode of communication that, at times, offers little in the way of personal contact? Here are six tips that can help you inject some spirit into your Tweets, Facebook posts, pins and blog.
1. Don’t Copy and Paste Headlines
Explain the content in your own words; it’s as simple as that. Nothing seems more robotic (and just downright lazy) than simply copy and pasting the exact headline or description of an article, video or blog post. Be creative with your description of the content you are sharing. Make it fit with your brand and use words that resonate with your audience
2. Tailor Responses to Individuals
Responding to people in the first place is a good sign, but you need to go a step further to avoid a comparison to R2-D2. If someone shares your post or retweets one of your tweets, say thank you, but don’t do it the same way you just did for another follower. If you receive some criticism or feedback, address the person directly. Whatever you do, don’t throw a canned response at them. This strategy may take a little more time, attention to detail and research, but it will be well worth the extra resources.
3. Tell Stories About Other Humans
In the realm of social media, you are what you post. When you post content about real people, whether that’s your members, staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors or the people you give you give to, it goes a long way to softening the rough edges of a big, organizational account. It highlights your non-profit’s ability to relate to people, connect with their needs and interact with them on a human level.
4. Ask Questions and Respond to Answers
No human being just talks at people all day, every day. That’s why it’s important to ask questions of your following. Not only can this result in great engagement and key feedback for your organization, it can also help members see the non-profit as more human than robot. Asking questions is a normal part of any conversation. Listening and responding answers means you care about what other people are saying. Sharing this experience highlights the humanity in your organization and allows your community to see there really is a person behind those tweets/posts/blogs/pins.
5. Keep Up Human Appearances
There are just some things humans cannot do and people will shine a negative light on your organization if it seems like you are circumventing these obstacles. For example, one person cannot keep up a shred of a meaningful relationship with 2000 people. So don’t follow 2000 people on Twitter. Only connect with those who share relevant content and provide you with chances to engage.
This doesn’t mean you have to keep your “Following” section to 50 people, but try being somewhat selective. People will appreciate that your organization is not in the social media game purely because of the numbers, but rather the quality of the connections it maintains. This loyalty will be reciprocated.
6. Have Fun
We know, we know, this is a vague and cliché tip, but there’s a reason everyone says it; because it works. Don’t take yourself too seriously when formulating content. It’s okay to make jokes, use slang, craft a play on words or try something new one in a while. Being formal all the time is overrated and can put people off your organization. Most people look to social media to connect with friends and pursue a passion, so make it easy for your community to see you as a friend and a fun way to accomplish goals and dreams.
When you manage social media platforms for an association or non-profit, leave the robot on the dance floor and show your human side. Your community will appreciate it and want to keep coming back. Once that happen, the possibilities are somewhere near limitless.