Social Media for your Business : 4E + 5

Thousands of words have been devoted to social media posting for business, by both expert social media enterprise business and by social media “guru” individuals (yawn). However if you scratch the surface further, there are some glaring gaps in relation to what should be done vs what actually gets done and a lack of strategic thinking in what is often treated as a tactical activity.

In addition, my view is that people way over complicate things.

At Inhabit, I’ve a really clear position on our posts across our chosen social media properties and how we are to approach them. This is summarised as:

4E + 5 = Engage, Educate, Entertain, Elicit + 5.

Some little soundbites you can expand and alter the above, emphasising different aspects :

4E+5 = Educate to Engage and Entertain, whilst Eliciting a response. Make sure its relevent in 5 years.
4E+5 = Engage by Educating, Entertaining & Eliciting a call to action. How will the post look in 5 years?

By following the 4E+5 principals that are outlined below, we come to some consensus in how we publish and how our impact is measured and reinforced, for the medium/long term.

Engage

This is easy. Or is it? It’s not if you entwine the other values and try not to regress to click bait headings, wild summations and blanket statements. Whilst you are vying for eyeballs, you are also trying to create understanding and hoping against hope to not bore, intimidate or offend your reader. KISS rules. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

Educate

Educate – your audience is smart, focused and wants to learn about who you are and what you stand for. Offer information freely and with clarity. If you impart something that is useful and enduring, you add value and continue to build trust in what further ongoing possibilities can be shared and derived.

Entertain

Yes! Be entertaining, be fun, show some personality, show some heart.

Nobody EVER said:

  • Social should be STOIC
  • Social should be SERIOUS
  • Social should be STODGY
  • Social should be STUFFY
  • Social should be STAID

Social should be SOCIAL and all that entails: Friendly, Fun, Enjoyable and a worthwhile use of your time.

Meaningful, rich with purpose and ideas that make you think. Make you ponder.

Elicit

I mentioned that you should ponder. You should think. If the social you present makes your audience ponder, think and reflect, for meaningful purpose and ongoing engagement, you have elicited a response.

The key is to elicit a response that is driven by long term, sustainable solutions, societally acceptable endeavour, socially expected standards of excellence.

Eliciting a like because you have made someone feel bad, fearful, cautious, sad, unhappy and playing on the emotive reaction for your own gain is using social to the detriment of society.

By way of example, the mere mention of QAnon, Donald Trump, Vaccination Status, Lockdown’s and mandates and you’re already triggered to a response, because it’s playing on a bunch of emotions and deep seated beliefs.

With your own brand, don’t go there.

It’s a one way street to reducing your audience to creating a tiny little echo chamber for your brand, which will ultimately implode.

+5

In Five seconds – how will you feel after you hit publish?
In Five days – how will you feel about the post?
In Five weeks – how does last months news look?
In Five weeks – has the landscape shifted perceptibly to make your opinion change?
In Five months – how will you feel about the post?
In Five months – has the landscape shifted perceptibly to make your opinion change?
In Five years – how will you feel about the history?
In Five years – has the landscape shifted perceptibly to make your opinion change?
In Five years – will it still be relevant?
In Five years – will it matter?

Believe it or not, the above runs through my mind EVERY time I think about posting something to LinkedIn, writing on my blog, sending an email out. 5 is a number I think about alot in the context of the above. It helps me stay out of trouble.

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