How friendly should your Social Media posts be?

I’ve just been watching an interesting interview on some of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to make money with social media.

One of the mistakes mentioned was ‘putting too much personal stuff into your posts’. Great point, but like many things in life, it’s difficult to be absolutely hard and fast about this particular ‘mistake’.

An example they used was a client who was a fanatic fan of his local sports team. Apparently, during the week he tweeted and posted useful and interesting content, but on Sundays he posted his opinions about his favorite sports team.  The result was that while he built a following who shared his love of their favorite team, he alienated the followers who really just wanted his business content.

Another example was a guy who posted pictures of what he ate for lunch every single day in between his business postings.

Well, while the second example is pretty obvious – unless the guy was a chef or involved in the hospitality industry, his audience is probably not at all interested in what he ate for lunch – the first example is pretty borderline.

Should you talk about your passions, hobbies, families and the ups and downs of your life? Or should you be exclusively business focused all the way through?

From my experience, I’d say that it really depends on your business and your target market. If you’re selling a professional service to a national, or multi-national audience, then I’d temper the personal references.  Keep them really brief and only make them when they illustrate a point you’re making.  As in, “For instance, my brother discovered that by doing xyz he got a better result from his marketing than by using abc method.’

If you’re a local business person, perhaps a realtor, be more personal. But be careful. Keep your personal posts light and cheerful and stick away from things that could alienate your audience.  For instance, if your area has two major sports or more than one major team, don’t harp on what your particular favorite is doing, or on your opinions about how lousy the competition is.

As I’ve said several times before, it’s necessary to demonstrate that you are a human being and it’s imperative to build a relationship with your audience.  But do it carefully and appropriately.