When I was 10 I had a friend at school who I used to argue with a lot. Let’s call him Douglas, because that was his name.
I think the truth is, we sort of fancied each other - he looked a bit like Charlie Bucket - but his earnestness would always put me off.
One of the things we’d argue about a lot was Dallas. He’d question why, if it was supposed to be about real people, they didn’t show JR going to the toilet.
I explained that that wouldn’t be entertaining – it was supposed to be drama.
This of course was before reality TV. Now we’re used these mundane activities being entertainment. And this has set a precedent.
With a multitude of social media channels at our fingertips, we too can broadcast our own mundane lives, from every angle.
👟 Been for a run? Tweet it
🐕 Walked the dog? Facebook it
🧁 Made a cake? Instagram it
But should we?
This is a question I get asked a lot and I understand why.
Showing yourself, your personality, your human side, on social media is a daunting prospect for anyone. It could be a bit of an uncomfortable shift to be talking about the Budget one day and your visit to the dentist the next.
And yet not joining the throng could be a missed opportunity if you want to develop your business. Because showing your personality is more likely to attract and engage prospects (especially in financial services, because it’s so unexpected).
People buy people, people they know, like and trust. Being present on social media is an easy way to show you’re a person, as silly as that sounds.
But how do you do this, without it feeling uncomfortable?
The answer is ‘the illusion of reality’ – not necessarily warts and all, but reality that has meaning. How to find the meaning? Simply rewind back to your brand DNA – what do you stand for, through good times and bad; what would be written inside your business if it was a stick of rock? That’s your starting point.
For example, baking: there’s not much point telling people about the cake you’ve just made if it has little bearing on anything you stand for in your business. But if you’re doing it as part of a charity bake sale, then suddenly that makes sense.
Likewise, if you’ve just attended a conference on Women in Finance – and female divorcees are one of your client avatars – then mentioning that is worthwhile too.
It’s all about layering up your story: each of these micro messages – or episodes – adds weight and meaning to the main story.
Perhaps not one as dramatic as Dallas, but who wants 350 million of the wrong people tuning in when you could have 10 of the right ones?