Eleanor Pierce

Four Ways to Stop “We-We-We” Social Media Content

By: Eleanor Pierce | May 22, 2014 | 

Five Ways to Stop “We-We-We” Social Media ContentBy Eleanor Pierce

Sometimes I’m still surprised by the number of brands that spend all their time on social media talking about themselves, and I don’t think that’s exactly fair.

Those of us who live and breathe in this world know it’s tricky to keep an audience’s attention if you’re just speaking French all the time (we, we, we – get it? I stole it from this awesome book I read recently).

Not everyone’s been practicing and thinking about social media content for quite as long as the Spin Sucks community.

But the “don’t talk about yourself all the time” message still hasn’t gotten out, judging by some of the Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, YouTube channels, Google+ pages, and LinkedIn profiles I run across on a daily basis.

Approved Social Media Content

Rather than beat it into peoples’ heads again, I thought I’d provide a list of four things you can do on social media OTHER than talk about yourself.

These will work for a pretty wide array of businesses, whether you’re doing B2B social media, B2C social media, whether you’re big or small.

Here we go!

  1. Talk about what your customers are doingThere’s a good chance your customers are more interesting to your other customers than you are. Share photos of your customers. Tell their storiesB2B? Talk about their successes. Interview one of your clients about a lesson they’ve learned—how they solved a problem your other customers might have—throw it up on your website, and then talk about (and link to) that case study on your social channels. B2C? Show customers using your product. If it’s food, share recipes from your customers. Share the photos they’ve taken of their food. The options are endless.
  2. Dig into the problems you solveNote that this is different than talking about how you are so great at solving the problem. Focus instead on the intricacies of the problem. Do you help people keep their floors clean? Then talk about how much dirt dogs track into the house. And how much dirt really gets into peoples’ carpets. Share studies on the nasty germs we track onto our floors—the very floors our kids play on! (I’m sort of kidding, but not really).
  3. Comment on trendsWhatever world you move in, whether it’s fashion, social media, or baking, there are trends you can comment upon. Fashion: Birkenstocks are backCommunications: Are you on the Instagram bandwagon yetBaking: Seriously, you guys, toast is trendy.
  4. Stop talking and go multi-mediaShare a day-in-the-life video. Share a photo you took while visiting with one of your customers or clients. Put your favorite on-brand quote on a cool photo you took and share that.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started.

What are your favorite ideas for social media content that isn’t all about “we, we, we”?

photo credit: andres.thor via photopin cc

About Eleanor Pierce

Eleanor Pierce is a recovering journalist who can't decide which part of the country to call home. She's happiest when she's reading, though she also really likes writing, baking, dogs, and sarcasm. No, seriously.

  • MyrnaKJ

    Thanks for this reminder. I work for a nonprofit and we trying to focus more on the people we serve and our donors. It’s not about us. We are just the conduit and caretaker of the donations.

  • One of the apps/organizations I am involved in is “Charity Miles.” In short, when I run, CM donates ten cents per mile to one of about 25 causes I designate (the $$ come from businesses/sponsors).  I suppose it is inherent in this type of app that the users are the ones talking about it, BUT the way that the sponsors are worked in allows those sponsors to not be all “we we we” and to integrate their cause with us as users. (For example a major health plan was a sponsor for a while and happened to also be doing a golf tournament at the same time, so we users tried to do “18 miles in 18 days” to simulate the golf course …. and each time we tweeted/FB’d/IG’d, that business was part of the content.  That may be straying into other areas than what you intended, but I know it’s different from that business going on and on about how wonderful they are or throwing up images of healthy people in a a commercial. They have people doing healthy things, for a great cause, and hopefully creating a win win.

  • Is that Lance Bass?????

  • belllindsay  I thought the same thing!

  • biggreenpen  No, I think that’s a terrific example!

  • MyrnaKJ  These ideas work so well for nonprofits. It’s a natural fit.

  • I love how you make the distinction in #2! This is such a powerful difference. Right now, for example, we are helping a client repurpose some content that was traditionally used for sales into blog posts. The content is power and it helps really describe how their technology helps solve pain points for different positions in a company (COO, CFO, IT, etc.). The change is in the focus, instead of being about them (the company), it becomes about the user. What problems can you solve for your customer is always the question you should ask.

  • What is Instagram? Funny you bring them up. To date Facebook and Twitter are still really the only two true conversation platforms. You can’t start with just text anywhere else. And I thought how I haven’t really gotten into any other platforms even though I have accounts and have tried them all…though snapchat might grab me if I get more than 2 connections on it.

    I think for brands social is a tough place to push communications. Great place to receive (ie customer service).99.9% of all brand messages that are not brand messages are the same. Cute sayings. Photoshopped pictures. Someecards. But some are smart and they talk about non-brand real life trends and topics. But most are afraid to go off message. Not sure why. So that is why we just don’t care about brands anymore on social media. The give aways ended. The contests mostly are gone. And we are left with ‘Talk with me’…ok…about what?….our products….uhm you have a website and a store see you there…don’t call me i’ll call you.

  • Okay, this isn’t social media, but I had a client celebrating its 25th anniversary, which is normally a time for a company to be completely me, me, me. Instead, we put together a big, beautiful coffee table-type book with images and stories all focused on their clients. 
    Of course, by featuring their awesome clients they were also implicitly saying, “Look how awesome we are that such great companies choose to work with us.” But I thought it was bold move. For such occasions, few businesses can resist celebrating themselves with musty old timelines of events that nobody but them cares about.

  • RobBiesenbach LOVE that! What an awesome idea!

  • RobBiesenbach Right! I almost called this “nobody cares about your big award,” or your big anniversary, or your big whatever. They might care about your story if it’s good, but you’ll probably have to involve other people in it for it to be interesting.

  • Eleanor Pierce RobBiesenbach what is a coffee table book? Is that when you set your kindle down on the coffee table?

  • ajpeth

    I think you make a great point about social media. Brands often just talk about how great they are, but what they neglect is that most people don’t really care. For a company, social media is a great way to engage customers and show more of the company’s personality. Such that, companies need to post relevant and interesting material. Personally, as a consumer, I really like when company’s I follow post articles and links pertaining to something that is trending or industry related. It shows that the company is dynamic and interactive.

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