In the closing minutes of Friday night's basketball game between the L.A. Lakers and Golden State Warriors, Lakers star Kobe Bryant tore his left Achilles' tendon. The following night, while still awaiting surgery, the All-Star shooting guard took to Facebook to vent about his feelings and whether or not it could be a career-ending injury. So far, the post has received nearly 430,000 likes and more than 70,000 comments.
People can relate to and appreciate the frustration he shared in his post. He was honest and transparent.
When managing social media for your startup, you can better connect and relate with your customers by being more transparent and authentic like Bryant. People generally want to engage with a brand that's friendly and real -- with real people, real thoughts and passions. They'd like to know that you care, what your beliefs are, and that you're a human brand.
Not every brand has the recognition or number of social followers that a sports star like Bryant has. But sharing your brand personality and culture with the masses can go a long way toward allowing people to connect with your brand.
Here are some ideas for how your brand can be more transparent and authentic over social media:
- Show imagery of your culture. This can include company parties, contests and other fun things.
- Be humble, but also know when to brag a little. Express excitement for major accomplishments and industry awards.
- Address your mistakes. If you screw up admit it. Take it head on and apologize while also communicating how you can resolve any issues and do better next time.
- Express concern. To your injured or sick employees, or their family members, you can share your best wishes and hope for a speedy recovery.
- Crowdsource new ideas. Let your customers know about product or service decisions you're trying to make and elicit their suggestions.
Bottom line: be real, be passionate and share the personality behind your social brand that you're trying to build. Just remember to think before you post. Showing passion about a product or service or your customers is good. Just be sure that your posts -- try to avoid topics such as politics and religion -- won't have negative repercussions for your brand.
Scott Levy is the founder and CEO of Fuel Online, an online marketing agency that focuses on social media and SEO. He has been specializing in online marketing for more than 15 years and is a respected speaker, writer and consultant. Scott was nominated for a 2014 Shorty Award for "social media's best business influencer" as well as recognized as a 2014 Hubbies finalist for "Influencer of the Year". Scott is based in Nashville. Follow him on Twitter at @FuelOnline or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FuelInternetMarketing