Whenever you share anything on social media, always try to have at least one person in mind who you think would appreciate it. Start with who. Start by identifying the one or two people you especially want to show this to.

When you have someone in mind you'll know right away where is the best place to reach them, which hashtags they might enjoy, communities, groups etc. With someone in mind you'll even know how to comment on what you are sharing because you know something about that person and you may even have a history of communicating to each other.

This will do two things:

  1. It will allow you to share in a way that gets their attention and is most useful to them. If it gets their attention, other people with similar interests will also notice. Awesome.
  2. It adds a humanity to what you share that others can feel because when you're talking to SOMEONE, you're talking to THEM, not just the faceless masses.

It is an intentional practice that is more likely to result in a closer connection, which is really the point of media in the social genre.

As Jackie Johnstone put it in Why Being Human on Social Media Is the Best Strategy You'll Ever Have:

"all social media is fundamentally about relationships and people connecting to people -- not companies or brands"

Why? A Company Has to Know What Business It Is In.

Referring to Simon Sinek's statement that "products don't create customer loyalty, a company's core purpose does", Terry O'Reilly adds that a company can't articulate it's elevator pitch unless it truly understands what business it is in. (this comes from a great podcast)

So when you are solid with the WHY you can more easily figure out the WHAT; content that you share to serve your purpose as a company.

But when you turn to your social networks to share your content, who is it for?

Here are a few examples of things we posted recently and who we had in mind when we did.

Example #1

Who I Thought Of

I thought of my wife - who doesn't like to be shown things that are gruesome or horrific. Then I thought of my kids who may soon become drivers (although, so far they aren't interested, thankfully). Then I realized that, while some people might find it pushy propaganda, others would appreciate having one more thing to remind the people they love of this important message, just like I did.

I didn't mention my wife in the post but everything about how I shared it and set it up was with her in mind. It's even on Youtube, a channel I know she loves.

Example #2

Who She Thought Of

This is one of Kelly‘s posts showing one of her photo shoots. She was thinking of a few people when she shared this, not just one.

“At least once each season, someone who really values photography will ask me to photograph their wedding – and I really want to photograph their wedding! – but they can’t afford the rates that I and others charge for these big events. So I just wanted to give this away to someone like that.

“To people who appreciate photography, having their wedding captured well is VERY important. So when I was getting ready to share that post, each of these couples were popping in my mind. I knew I was probably too late for those people but I know how much each of them would have appreciated it and I figured others would too.”

Example #3

We had a really difficult winter in 2015 on the east coast. On an April day that felt a bit like Spring I got thinking about a friend/client who felt especially beaten by the season but was committed to start something new and great.

I just wanted to send a boost their way and figured that others feel the call to start back up and need a little boost in a positive direction as well.

It’s a simple message so I put it in a simple image and threw it on the network where I see this friend most; Instagram. I used hashtags that similar people use.

Do you have an example of a person you thought of when you shared a particular brand post?