Gone are the days where a consumer would encounter your business for the first time by walking in the door of your shop. Whether your future customers first learn about you through your website, an ad, or a friend’s recommendation, they’re likely to do their research into your business before they commit to becoming a customer. So how do you make sure that research paints you in a favorable light? Learning how to make a good impression on social media is one of the best ways to get potential customers’ attention, and their business along with it.

Good First Impressions on Social Media: Simpler Than You Think

The internet abounds with advice on how to maximize the impact of your social media presence, much of it tailored to the type of business you do or the social media platform of your choosing. But there are some recommendations that are universally applicable to all companies regardless of what they’re offering.

Visuals Are Key. It takes the human brain less than one second to form an impression of an image they’re looking at— so you want to make sure your potential customers are looking at something aesthetically pleasing. Modern design, beautiful photographs, text that’s easy to read— these are the cornerstones of a good social media presence.

Especially for an image-forward platform like Instagram, it’s critical that the look and feel of your social media posts represent your brand top to bottom. How do you want your customers to feel when they scroll your content? Do your posts grab interest and speak to your customers’ values? Think of the last social media posts that stuck with you beyond the time you spent looking at them, and try to evoke the same feeling in your own content.

Content, Not Advertising. The rule of social media marketing is as simple as 80/20. 80% of your content should be relevant to your brand without explicitly promoting something you sell. You want your social media to start a conversation, to form a connection, to bring inspiration. When people feel like they’re being bombarded with requests for their money, they’ll hit the Unfollow button faster than you can blink. Share posts and events from similar accounts, post news articles related to your company values, let them know you value a relationship more than a sale, and you’ll build a relationship with them that goes beyond their spending habits.

Engagement Is Everything. Think of making a good first impression on social media like online dating. You’re trying to grab someone’s attention so they’ll strike up a conversation, curious to know more. There’s a big difference between shouting a message without caring who’s listening, and inspiring real engagement with your followers. Humanized, authentic relationships where people feel seen and understood are the key to building your customer base.

If you’re posting, but no one’s replying, it might be time to reassess your content. What could be more interesting that would entice someone to follow your account? Do your posts have interactive captions that ask questions? When your audience answers those questions, do you respond, or leave them hanging? People are more likely to engage with brands that make them feel understood and seen, so knowing what your customers want will help you catch their interest.

Trust and Values. According to the 2019 Edelman Brand Trust Survey, 81% of people said they need to be able to trust that a brand will do what is right— in other words, they need to know that a brand shares their values. This actually makes it easier for you to build engaging content for your audience. If you pride yourself on ethically sourced ingredients, post about an organic farm you buy from. If you’ve made your name as a local small business, profile one of your employees or show support for a high school sports team.

Showing your values extends beyond your original content, too. We all see bios on Twitter or Instagram that say “my content isn’t an endorsement”, but that’s just a legal disclaimer. When you share a post, you’re implying you agree with it, that you share values with the person that posted it. So be aware of what accounts you follow, on both your business and personal pages, and do a little research into a business before you retweet them. Your customers won’t hesitate to take you to task if they feel you’ve misstepped, so do the legwork up front.

Social Media Posting with My Content Co

My Content Co knows how to create relevant, engaging, and timely digital content, just like you know how to grow your business. We specialize in creating SEO friendly websites, blogs, social media posts and newsletters that are consistent with your brand. Partner with us to get your social media channels ready for their first impressions. Visit us online or contact us today at 410-324-3934 to get started.