The general trend I’ve seen in regards to online marketing is simply BE YOU. Self-marketing gurus like Jenna Kutcher says that potential clients, followers, and fans generally fall in love with your personality and you’re youness before they ever connect with your product or services. And once I heard that insight I realized that if I’m already friends with someone online or I feel like someone is approachable online, then I’m way more inclined and even excited to read their novels or recommend their art to a friend.
So this is likely great news or it might be an additional weight on your shoulders. I’m hoping I can motivate you to embrace your you as you put yourself out there online and get positive feedback. We’ll talk about some topics that you can consider sharing with your followers and how to determine if it’s right for you.
What Are Some Topics That You Can Include?
As the master of your social media and blogging domain, you don’t have to get personal at all. However, I want to give you permission to include some of these topics in a tasteful way.
Political/Humanitarian: If there’s something you care about (healthcare, education, immigration, etc.) then you can share some call to action items on how your followers can join you in local and national efforts. You’ll likely get trolls when the politics roll out, so share if this is especially important to you.
Another aspect that often fits under politics is being candid about being in a minority group. We need to hear your stories about being a writer or creative as a queer person, an immigrant, a person of color, and more. This can get very personal, so only share when you’re absolutely ready for the good and the bad.
Life Stuff: Sometimes you want to celebrate your wedding, new baby, pets, new home, or new job. Sometimes it’s fun to know that you’re moving or traveling, or otherwise being a human. It’s relatable, and you’ll be surprised at how kindly people will respond to moments in your life that matter. If privacy is important to you, don’t feel obligated to share pictures of your children, the outside of your home, or your exact location.
Book Stuff: Please do share behind the scenes insight on your writing or publishing process! It’s a way to get people asking about your work, get a decent ego stroke, and empathize with other writers stuck in the same part of the process as you.
Current Events: Don’t be afraid to show a streak of humanity. It’s okay to be affected by the news and show it. On a positive note, feel free to get excited about other things like Taylor Swift’s new album (rumored to be coming out soon), the Olympics, or National Doughnut Day. You might feel silly joining in the fray, but who cares? If it interests you, then post it.
Mental Health: Any time I’m open about my weaknesses and shortcomings (I’ve written stuff about imposter syndrome), it invited others to share their experiences, too. The right audience will have respect for those who still write and create despite not wanting to get out of bed, or relying on medication, or feel exceptionally self-conscious about their work. Again, trolls be trollin’ so be careful and gentle with yourself when sharing these personal things.
Additional Hobbies: How do you spend your time when you’re not working or at work? These are really fun to see, so let us know what inspires you!
I mentioned trolls a few times. If you start sharing your deeper self and you get a few trolls, take action. You do not have to explain anything to them, and you don’t owe them anything. They are not your target audience. Thus, do what you must: screenshot particularly nasty comments, block them, report them, and shut them down. Don’t waste your time pandering to these time-suckers when you could be living your life or creating new content.
How Much Is Too Much?
Resources like Jenna Kutcher suggest that any social media feed can include up to 5 topics or 5 aspects of your personality, the first aspect being your work stuff. So as you think about all the things you can share online, think of 5 categories that apply especially well to each social media platform. For example, I tend to save my sassy and political thoughts for Twitter, updates on my yoga and workouts on Instagram, and I share funny memes on Facebook.
Once you have the 3-5 topics, you can spread them out throughout the week or month. It’ll help you feel like there’s always something to share, and there’s always some way that your followers can connect or identify with you.
But what if you feel like certain hot-button issues might feel overbearing? There’s one way that my favorite social media people handle this stuff well: they don’t preach. Whatever their passions are, they don’t force feed them to their audience. If their services involve giving any sort of advice, they just highlight their services without giving it away for free, so to say.
They also approach these topics with respect and a decent amount of humor. If you’re worrying about offending your followers, just keep that in mind: share but don’t force. It’ll show in the words you pick and your motives. If people can tell that you’re empathetic, hopeful, and action-minded, they won’t feel choked or put down by your opinions.
How Can You Learn More About Being Casually Cool & Likeable?
If you’re looking for further examples of mixing personality with business, here’s some of my favorite examples:
- J.K. Rowling
- Victoria Aveyard
- EK Johnston
- Kristen Kieffer
- Jenna Kutcher
- Chuck Wendig
- V.E. Schwab
- Rainbow Rowell
Sometimes the best way to figure out your social media style or brand is to note what you enjoy or what other people share. So overall, notice what you like, try it, and see how your audience reacts.
That’s about it for today. What topics do you think are appropriate for business-minded social media? Which topics do you think should be avoided? I like to hear more of your thoughts in the comments below or via social media.