If you have a Facebook personal account, you’re probably using it for social activity; keeping up with family and friends in far flung places, letting people know what’s going on in your life (and sharing cute cat videos – no?)  However, if you have a Facebook business page how social should you be?

And what about Twitter?  Is that intended for social interactions or is it just a means of sending text messages to the world?

Then there’s LinkedIn – but isn’t that a business platform?  So why is it categorised as social media?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  What about Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr … the list is endless.

If you’re running a business social media is an important marketing tool, but don’t be fooled into believing that, when you’re in business mode, it’s not social.

It’s all about you

People buy people.  You can’t have a conversation with an organisation and you’ll notice that the large corporates that do social media well, identify who you’re talking to.

Your social media content will work better when you talk as though you’re a human.  Yes, they are marketing tools, but the less personal they are, the less people will engage with you.

Tell your network what you’re doing (without breaking any client confidentiality, of course).  Give them a picture of your world, help them to get to know you.  If you’re really smart you’ll find a way to share your expertise while you’re doing this so you are building relationships and educating your audience at the same time.

Do you have a LinkedIn company page, but focus your effort on your personal profile.  The information you share will be shared under your name, not your company.

Facebook is a different animal and your Page will work well if you’re chatty and engaging.  Share what you’ve discovered today, whether it’s a great article, something you tried out and didn’t work, a revelation that came to you in a flash, or what you’ve done to combat writer’s block.

If you’re launching a new product or service it’s fine to get excited about it – as long as that’s not the only time you talk to your audience.

Just in case you were wondering – don’t give in to the urge to share cute cat videos on your business Page – unless you’re a vet, of course!