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The Spry team likes to say that social media marketing is like a handshake.  Often times, social media is the first contact you have with a new potential customer.  You have an opportunity to make a first impression and it can be a good impression, a bad one, or somewhere in between.

I’ve always wanted to explore this metaphor further to help myself and others understand what we mean by this.  Below is an explanation of what makes a GOOD handshake, what makes a BAD handshake, and how that relates to your social media marketing.  Enjoy!

Good handshakes are:

  • Strong
    • When you shake someone’s hand with a firm grip, they feel the power of  your confidence and intentionality. When someone comes in contact with your social media posts, they will be able to feel the strength of your resolve and confidence if it is there.  
  • Include eye contact
    • Looking someone in the eyes during an introduction helps to prove you have nothing to hide and that you’re interested in really seeing the person in front of you.  The same is true for social media posts. Being willing to be present and interested and engaged with your followers is how you make a good impression on potential new customers.
  • Include a good introduction
    • What you say when shaking someone’s hand matters.  Imagine meeting someone, shaking their hand, and saying, “I sell bracelets do you want to buy one?”  That’s called loitering; not networking. Not marketing. Consider your introductions focusing on your values and asking about theirs.  The same goes for your social media posts. Instead of asking people to buy things from you, consider sharing your heart… sharing what’s important to you, and asking if that resonates with those your content reaches.
  • Include good questions and listen to the answers
    • Relationships can only be formed when both parties are heard during an introduction.  When you meet someone who talks about themselves only, do you pander to them so you’re heard, or do you move on and meet someone else?  As a brand, it’s our responsibility to ask our followers about themselves and truly listen with our social media content. Otherwise, they’ll move on and meet someone else.
  • Include thoughtful responses
    • Have you ever said something to someone, and then just watched while they smiled with glazed eyes and nodded their head.  It’s awkward! Choosing to offer thoughtful responses confirms to people that the information they gave is understood loud and clear.  We can do this with our social media content too. When someone comments on our post, do we just smile and nod our head with glazed eyes…. Or heart eye emojis?  We can do better than that. If we want to really create a relationship through our social content that will translate into future sales, we have got to be willing to give thoughtful responses to the things people say.
  • Include invitations to connect further if you align
    • You know those times when you meet someone and you just “know” …by the end of the conversation you end up asking each other out to lunch or coffee to get to know each other more.  This is how a sales funnel works too. If you have an established sales funnel, your interactions with people will naturally move them through your funnel from finding you, to learning about you, to considering working with you, to a transaction, to them telling their friends about you.

Bad handshakes are:

  • Soft
    • Have you ever shaken someone’s hand and their poor hand just felt limp inside the strong grip of your overwhelming presence?  No? That’s just me? 😉 When brands are unsure of their values, their social media content can come off soft, unsure, and weak.
  • Sticky
    • If you’ve ever shaken someone’s hand and had to immediately wipe your hand on your clothes to get the “ew” off, then you’ve been perpetrated by a sticky handshake.  It’s weird and uncomfortable for everyone. You think to yourself, “Well THAT wasn’t supposed to be there.” The same is true of social media content. Wash everything extra off your content.  Don’t post about polarizing topics. Don’t include anything that’s far from your values. It’s sticky and gross. Don’t do it.
  • Distracted
    • This one is fun.  You know when you meet someone, they introduce themselves, you introduce yourself, and in the first few seconds you see their attention move away from your response and towards the person next to you, the snack table, the bar… whatever!  It sucks. Their distraction says, “What you’re saying doesn’t matter to me.” Do you seek that person out and try again to connect with them, or do you just move on? Experience tells me that you just move on. This is where PRESENCE MANAGEMENT comes into play with social media.  You put up a post, someone responds… do you respond right away, the next day, NEVER?! If you’re distracted from your social presence, followers will disengage.

The moral of the story is…

Social media marketing isn’t rocket science; it’s common sense.  Start watching how you interact with people when you meet them, and try to apply what you learn to your social media marketing too.

Do you know what your brand values are?  Do you know where to find peoples’ comments on your posts and how to respond to them?  If you need help, Spry LOVES to teach. Reach out to us. Set up a consulting session. We will help you.

If you liked this and want to continue the conversation, consider joining SprySpace – the Facebook group where digital marketers go for education, support, and virtual giggling.

The team at Spry Digital Marketing discussing social media strategy and how social media is like your digital handshake