Hey there! I’m Beth. I work here at Storyblocks running their organic social media channels. I came from an entrepreneurial background acting as a social media consultant for all different types of businesses — from restaurants to tech giants like BlackBerry (yes, they still exist) – managing content, writing copy and asking, “Wait, who posted this? I have a post scheduled to go out in 15 minutes.” Now that I sound somewhat credible, I want to talk about the present — me, working as social media manager for a corporate company and how I make Storyblocks sound less corporate and more personable.
I want to note here that before stepping foot on social, you want an established brand deck. A brand deck covers all sorts of things about a company — work culture, fonts, colors, tone of voice, what GIFs are acceptable to use on Twitter, etc. Some brand decks dive deeper than others, but it’s integral to the social media strategy and gives companies a jumping off point when developing content.
Anyways, back to me and my job of making Storyblocks sound super cool on the internet. Below you’ll find some guidelines I use when developing the social strategy and content that I’ve found useful (and makes my boss happy when we see solid engagement).
1. Be a person, not a company
People like to talk and engage with people — not a cubicle. I list this one first because I believe it’s by far the most important and plays a part in every tip I’m about to share. If you’re reading this as a marketing expert, you’ve probably heard of the idea of “personifying” your brand — and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Making your brand into a person — a person that feels emotions and makes other people feel them too. For this you’ll not only want to hire a strong copywriter, but also one who feels connected and passionate about your company. Your audience will be able to feel that connection and passion on your social pages — and if it’s not there, they’ll probably feel that too. Know your persona and find your voice. A good rule of thumb is asking yourself, “Did I yawn while looking at my content?” If the answer is yes, head back to the drawing board and loosen up a little.
2. Show what’s behind the curtain of your company
I’m a nosy person — and so is your average person. I’m not really a “data person” by nature, but I’ll refer to data for this one. In Q3, our top performing posts all had something to do with our employees. I’ve only been working here for a short bit, but one of the highlights of my time here so far was our Pride Employee Spotlight Series, where I got to interview some of my fellow LGBTQIA+ colleagues about queer representation and feature them on our social pages. Best performing content of the quarter.
People love seeing what goes on behind the scenes. We’re nosy, remember? Corporate America has the stigma of being “buttoned-up” and kind-of, well, boring at times — but I’d throw some money down to bet that there’s quite a few cool people at your company doing cool things. Highlight them. Feature them on your social pages. Ask them to write a blog post *ahem*. It’ll be worth it.
3. Know the difference between sounding smart and sounding arrogant
On the interwebs, we are all experts. We are the best company for x service and y product. I mean, even if you aren’t, you still say you are — Marketing 101, folks. Anyways, since we want to give off the idea that we are the best of the best, sometimes we lean on a little bit of industry jargon. You know, the words that make us sound like experts in the industry that we’re in.
At Storyblocks, we utilize a synergistic approach to gather revolutionary stock footage to change the way creatives are able to tell authentic stories. No no no. Delete. Backspace.
Try this instead: At Storyblocks, we care about telling authentic stories — so that way, you can too.
Step away from the jargon and embrace the simplicity of a sentence structure. You can say a whole lot without actually saying a whole lot, if that makes sense. Your audience will thank you, and you will sound less corporate.
4. Don’t be afraid to try new things to sound less corporate
The most beautiful but yet annoying thing about working in social media is that it is always changing. A TikTok trend today is usually gone tomorrow (and I’ve lost my shot yet again at going viral *sigh*). So, as people who work in social media, we have to be flexible and change with the tides — whether that’s changing up the content day-of or doing a refresh of your strategy every few months. As much as we want to understand everything there is to know about the algorithms, we just don’t. Anyone who works at Instagram HQ reading this? I just wanna talk…
I write this as a millennial. Born in ‘93, I’m closer to Gen Z than the Boomers. In the corporate world, our colleagues are usually spread out amongst generations. Something that I may want to try might be totally off-base for someone else – and this is fairly common especially with social media content.
A big part of my job is connecting the dots amongst departments and people with differing opinions. Some people in your company may be reluctant to try out something new — whether that’s a brand refresh, a new social media concept or something as simple as changing your IG highlight covers. Diverging from the “norm” can be somewhat unsettling, but at times it’s needed to deliver better results.