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Back-to-Basics: Old School Interaction

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the number of impressions, clicks, favorites, retweets, and followers and forget about the inherent purpose of social media: being social!

To help you get back to the basics, Object 9 created a list of social media guidelines based on the same rules as old school face-to-face social interactions.

Be conversational and responsive. Think of the last time you were “trapped” in a conversation where you weren’t sure how much longer you could both keep making dead end statements, such as, “Wow, this heat” and “Yeah, it’s hot ….” It’s boring, painful and as exciting as talking to a brick wall. Don’t let your brand be a brick wall. Continuously ask questions, spark interesting conversation and show your personality to drive engagement and truly interact with your followers.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 2.02.46 PM

Contribute to the conversation, but also add value! Picture that face you give someone when they hijack your conversation with something unrelated and clearly meant to make it all about them. (Hint: picture the side eye emoji) When your brand jumps on the latest hashtag trends or pop culture story just to sell a product, your followers will be giving you the same side eye. Only interject when you have something to contribute that enhances the conversation. Don’t just interrupt.

#IfStarWarsHadTwitter R2D2 would Tweet in full emojis, #C3PO would go over 140 characters #StarWarsDay pic.twitter.com/dXDf4PqNUM

— Hootsuite (@hootsuite) May 4, 2015

Be Interesting. We all have that one friend who cannot tell a joke. He’s the one who delivers the punch line too soon or lacks build up in the delivery. Either way, we immediately lose interest and look for funnier, more entertaining friends. Tweet with suspense and inspire curiosity to make your brand’s content interesting. An air of mystery will encourage your followers to click through, read your content, and keep them from abandoning you for funnier, more entertaining brands.

If you ask Google Maps 'are we there yet?' enough times, it gives you some serious 'tude. http://t.co/uIiLP6QyRC

— Mashable SocialMedia (@mashsocialmedia) July 24, 2015

(Spoiler alert: Its attitude-filled response is “If you ask me again, we won’t stop for ice cream,” a nod to National Lampoon’s Vacation.) 

Real Time. I just listened to the SERIAL podcast for the first time, and like the rest of the world, I immediately became obsessed. When I told my friend she had to listen to this addicting podcast, she looked at me and said, “Yeah, that’s been out for a while….” Luckily, my friend forgave me for being out of touch with the latest podcasts, but your audience might not be so forgiving when it comes to news and information. Stay current and up-to-date on industry news and pop culture to remain relevant among your followers.

Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs

— Arby's (@Arbys) January 27, 2014

Know your audience, target your audience. Think of the difference between the college stories you tell your friends and the college stories you tell your grandparents. You get the point, and if you don’t, you must be really close with your grandparents.

do something nice today, slip a bacon in your crush's wallet then they'll go to pay for something and be like "whoa a bacon!" maybe?

— Denny's (@DennysDiner) July 13, 2015

always keep hash browns in your pocket so when you & your friends have an idea you can grab a handful & say “lets…hash out the details."

— Denny's (@DennysDiner) June 2, 2015

No typos. I could think of an interesting analogy to explain this, or you could just learn to proof before you posh, er post.

Follow back– A self-centered mentality is never a good character trait or a favorable brand strategy. While you might feel popular with 10,000 followers and only following 2 accounts, it shows that you care only about yourself. Follow back and show your audience that you are listening to what they have to say.

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Social listening – Do you have a friend who can only talk about their problems but is never willing listen to yours? How long before that friendship ended? Regularly engage in social listening to find out what people are saying about your brand and join the conversation to show that your brand is consumer-centric.

@_SteveCam What more could you want, right? ????

— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) July 31, 2015

@CarlyRachelAdam Sorry to hear this, Carly. What flight are you on?

— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) July 24, 2015

Keep it brief. Twitter is only 140 characters for a reason. After all, the average attention span only lasts 8.25 seconds (Statistics Brain Research Institute) and is decreasing!

Don’t over share. You know your fast-talking friend who drinks five cups of coffee a day and can cover 10 different topics in five minutes? That’s your brand when you send a rapid fire of tweets in a short period of time. Unless you’re live tweeting some amazing event or conference, find a balance between constantly posting, sporadically posting and no posting at all.

It’s easy to lose sight of the marketing fundamentals. Object 9 offers social media bootcamps to help your business get back to the basics and refresh your digital presence. If you’d like to discuss your digital marketing efforts with a tried and true agency with a great track record, drop us a line on our website. Or, if you prefer shorter form, you can find us on Twitter (@Object9) or Facebook.

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