Social Media Marketing : Where It’s Ok to Be Vulnerable

Social Media MarketingSocial media marketing offers a company a unique opportunity to be vulnerable. In fact, when its power is harnessed correctly, vulnerability can become one of your business’s greatest assets in this market. It allows you to build a genuine connection with your clientele that might otherwise be lacking.

The Pros of Vulnerability In Social Media Marketing

You would be surprised at the number of executives who are frightened at the very thought of social media marketing, just because they could be perceived as vulnerable. More specifically, they are worried that appearing vulnerable could potentially harm their reputation of that of their company. These concerns are fairly simple to understand. After all, most of us are raised from an early age to strive to fit in and not rock the boat.

The thing that you must understand about whitewashing is that it almost never works. Eventually, the truth about ourselves or our company is always going to come out in the open. However, if you take the initiative to drop the façade and to be open and honest with your clientele in social media marketing, then it affords you the opportunity to make real and honest connections. In fact, vulnerability has become rather popular in social media marketing in recent months. Consider these following two examples:

  • Reddit recently hosted an “Ask Me Anything” session with President Obama that was free of editing. It even included his own typos.
  • Lady Gaga recently caused a sensation in the media when she ditched her dramatic façade and tweeted half naked pictures of herself in response to criticisms of her recent weight gain.

Each of the incidents resonates with their audience because they showcase the person’s vulnerability. For example, who among us hasn’t struggled with body issues and self esteem problems before? The bottom line is that vulnerability in a social media networking situation breaks down the invisible, impersonal wall that stands between most corporations and their clients. However, it is also going to be important for your to express vulnerability in such a manner that it does not come off as pandering or prone to oversharing.

How to Successfully Use Vulnerability In Social Media Marketing

The first step in using vulnerability properly is to ask yourself the hard questions and to give honest responses. What was the most difficult challenge that you or your company has overcome? What are the biggest mistakes you have made and how have you grown from what you’ve learned? Are there certain questions that have been asked about your company in the past that you’ve hesitated to answer? How can you address these questions in an open and honest format?

Secondly, be on the lookout for your business’s stories. One of the truest statements ever made is that real stories tap into real emotion. It stirs emotion in us. Try to create an environment through your social media marketing efforts that is going to encourage others to tell their stories. Teach yourself how to identify client stories that spark genuine emotion. Once you’ve identified these stories, capitalize them. They can literally be marketing gold for your business.

Next, bear in mind that vulnerability in social media marketing is going to work best when it is used in a trickle. You do not want to flood your audience with sob stories. Your clients are looking for a peek into the world of your corporation. They do not want an hour long tour of every single in and out. It is important to be open and honest, but in most situations, less is going to be more.

Finally, if you are going to use vulnerability as a tactic in social media marketing, resist the urge to be snarky. The informal attitude of social media marketing often makes it simple to quip snarky little snips. Not everyone is going to respond to your vulnerability in the way that you would like. If you feel insulted or criticized, do not let your vulnerability turn into defensiveness or anger. This is going to produce the opposite reaction in your clientele than what you are looking for.