by Ali Carmichael, Managing Director and Owner

How human is your social?

UX so often focuses on the journey of a customer coming towards us that our outbound digital communication can be left wanting in user centredness. The impact of this is a lack of human connection in our tactical communications via our social channels. 

It isn’t difficult to see why.  

1/. The Content Calendar 

I occasionally attend various marketing events and networks, where I notice the consistent advice to create a content calendar. This is a list of all the official days that are taking place this year. Today (27th April 2022), for example, is National Stationary Day, National Prime Rib Day, and World Tapir Day. The idea being that you can use these days to create content to promote your own businesses.   

Some of these official days might well be relevant to your brand and, even better, is closely linked to your mission and passion as a business. When you post about these, they come from the heart.  

However, often the connection is tenuous. Promotional communications are released in reference to these days with a vague attempt to connect the brand to the day. These posts are often written well in advance as part of a ‘content calendar’ tactical comms plan. It feels nice to have the next few months of social media posts already planned and written up, but there really is no true connection in their writing and the reader.  

 “But we are getting in front of people”, I hear you cry. That may be, but is that good enough for your audience?  

2/. LinkedIn ‘Evolution’ 

Is it just me, or has LinkedIn become a place of, mostly, unconsidered promotion? I was left quite angry at a LinkedIn post where a Business Growth Specialist promoted the idea of regurgitating their posts, with slight tweaks, every few months. In the same post, they claimed to write their 20 LinkedIn posts for the month in one sitting – knocking them out!  

The idea of reusing content is not new, and it is a good tactic when well considered. I felt annoyed that this tactic was being rolled out monthly by, based on the comments in said post, many others. LinkedIn has always felt like it should be a community of sharing business activity, ideas, and perspectives. Can we inspire others, can we help? But really it is a space where many are flogging their wares in front of as many viewers as possible. The post mentioned above did get 2,351 likes, 360 comments, and 23 shares – is that what it is all about? 

And don’t get me started on ‘LinkedIn ladders’ – can’t we just be genuine?

Communicate with connection

Yes, we can share client wins, let others know what we’re up to today, we can highlight updates to our products and services, we can even promote a sale – our audience has chosen to follow us after all. It isn’t about reach, or likes, or comments, but about connection. There is the old ‘Rule of seven’ adage, but I never considered LinkedIn as a place for that. Maybe I’m naïve? 

We need to remain relevant and trustworthy to our readers. To do so, we must understand and respect them. In return we get to build stronger relationships over the long term. Not to convince people to buy now, not to follow the ‘proven’ data patterns that show what numbers it takes to land customers, but to simply be human.  

The promise of UX brings with it a focus on the user first, an organisational outside-in perspective, to help to deliver products and services that are designed with the user at their heart. UX allows us to be empathetic to our audience as we make our business decisions and build stronger relationships with our customers. So, the idea of knocking out 20 posts in one go, to me at least, feels far removed from a considered and user-friendly approach.  

Shush!

Just because every other business is shouting doesn’t mean you should too. Often in busy public spaces such as a pub, the collective volume of chatter grows to the point that we find ourselves shouting to hear one another. Until some event, such as a dropped glass smashing on the floor, interrupts the room to a momentary collective hush.  

In our communications we’re clamouring to be heard and so we collectively talk louder and louder. 

Don’t contribute to the noise. Instead, consider your audience. Feel your audience. What value will they appreciate from your post? How can you positively add to their world if they were it stop scrolling at your post?  

Many comms strategies will consider the audience at the beginning of planning, but rarely will users be front of mind at the point in time when a post is created, especially if you’re lining them all up for your content calendar.  

I encourage you to focus on how your posts will create a positive connection between you, your brand, and your audience. 

PS: whilst I was finalising this article, Tom Quay at www.Passenger.tech shared, on LinkedIn, this wonderful advert from Transport for Wales. I think this is great viewing ahead of writing any LinkedIn posts:

Emma Jones

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01202 293652 emmajones@experienceux.co.uk