Boosting Your Brand with Behind-The-Scenes Content

Boosting your brand woth behind-the-scenes content - Twitter Smarter chat with Nicole Osbourne - August 15, 2019

We all know the importance of consistency in branding. Your voice should reflect in every aspect of your social media content—from your posts and responses, to linked articles. That’s how you show your audience who you are and what you value.

That’s not all, though. There’s a whole world of other content you can use to connect with your audience and communicate your personality. Introducing, behind-the-scenes content.

We invited social media consultant and founder of Lollipop Social, Nicole Osbourne, to tell us a bit about using behind-the-scenes (referred to as BTS in this post) content in social media marketing.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Topic: Boosting Your Brand with Behind-The-Scenes Content
Guest: Nicole Osbourne
Format: Eight questions directed to the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What is behind-the-scenes content?

It’s content that you don’t polish (too much, at least). Behind-the-scenes content is showing your followers what’s happening behind the brand they love like the culture, management, staff, and everyday workings of the business.

As Jake mentioned, it’s about showing the process, and not the product. It’s important to include behind-the-scenes content in your social posts because it gives you a chance to connect with your community on a personal level. It makes you relatable, approachable, and more human.

However, that doesn’t mean behind-the-scenes content is a spur-of-the-moment thing. Rather, as our guest said, it’s a powerful medium of marketing. Because your behind-the-scenes content is unique, it naturally brings out your speciality, attracting an ideal customer base. Plus, since you’re already publishing behind-the-scenes content, newer customers will feel more comfortable approaching you, either on social media or otherwise, about concerns and feedback. It’s an excellent way to build a lasting rapport with customers.

In a brilliant example, Joana pointed out how much Instagram and Snapchat have impacted behind-the-scenes content. Thanks to Stories, people can now flip out their phone at any time and have a conversation with their audience—human-to-human.

 

Q2: Why should you share what happens behind the scenes?

As a consumer, it’s always nice to know who you’re buying from. That’s why most of us prefer to shop from farmers markets and small businesses—because we get to connect with them, chat, and build relationships. That’s how we develop trust in a business. Sharing behind-the-scenes content is a way to showcase transparency and help your audience trust you.

Even if not right away, these relationships let your audience know you, and that you’re available to help out when they need you. The trust, as Nicole said, is an essential investment to establishing recall value.

As Matt also mentioned, unlike sales and other marketing material that need vigorous editing and refining, behind-the-scenes content is a raw way of telling people who you are and what you do. It’s easy social proof.

Need more reasons to share behind-the-scenes content? To

  • Showcase the process and efforts involved in your success – it makes people appreciate you more
  • Share your values and what matters to you – it attracts people with similar principles
  • Involve your community in your process – it gives people a sense of belonging so and they’ll develop a higher loyalty towards you and your business
  • Assure your audience that they’re dealing with more than a bot – it humanizes your brand and builds reliability
  • Help your customers understand your business better – it’s an authentic way of inviting them to see your work

Q3: What are some reasons people don’t share behind-the-scenes content?

Of course, it’s the fear of being vulnerable in front of a generally-unforgiving online audience.

That’s not all, however. Nicole was right—some of us are genuinely bad at selling ourselves. Aside from the fear of the spotlight, some people struggle with finding the right way to promote themselves, or saying the relatable things.

Some think their work will speak for them and they don’t have to trumpet themselves. Though that’s true to some extent, you won’t get anywhere without a gentle self-promotional nudge. That’s why behind-the-scenes content is so effective—it’s an easy way to talk about yourself without being boring.

Another reason people hesitate is because they don’t think their behind-the-scenes content is good enough to go live. But your audience isn’t looking for perfection—they’re looking for sincerity. Show the bad hair days, meetings-taking-over-meals days, coffee spills, and everything that shows you’re just another human with struggles.

Our friends at WP Business Reviews shared some excellent reasons as well. A lot of businesses are reluctant to share BTS content because of security reasons. True enough. You need to be aware of legal considerations before you post BTS content. For example, make sure you have explicit permission from everyone featured in your image or video and see that you’re not posting sensitive or confidential numbers.

 

Quite often you also see brands employing interns or inexperienced marketers to handle their social media accounts. This happens when the brand isn’t aware of or concerned about the community that their social media can generate for them. They’re not using social as a channel to market and connect with customers, but instead, are using it just because everyone else is.

Some other reasons people don’t share BTS content:

  • Afraid of being judged
  • Don’t think they have anything interesting to share
  • Too busy planning other marketing material to spend time on creating BTS content
  • Unaware of how to use BTS content effectively
  • Not knowing what to share
  • Ignoring it because it doesn’t generate immediate return on investment
  • Worrying that competitors might use it to put them down

 

Lastly, Gaby from Bentley University pointed out excellently: some businesses don’t share BTS because they don’t have a consistent message. Absolutely. When your voice and values don’t align with the content you share over time, you won’t be able to share any BTS content—because you don’t live as you preach.

Q4: How much is too much sharing of behind-the-scenes content?

Before you share anything, ask yourself one simple question: would you want your mother to see it? If not, then your customers wouldn’t want to see it either.

It’s important to be relatable and fun, but it’s equally important not to embarrass yourself by oversharing. As I said earlier, you can share coffee spills, but you wouldn’t want to share a video of you freaking out at how much work’s pending—that does far from assuring your audience that they’re in good hands.

Nicole’s advice is to balance the types of content you share. You can’t go wrong with sharing your expertise, because you’re comfortable discussing what you best know. Also include audience-generated content and BTS content that enhances the value of other material you share.

Remember, the purpose of BTS content is to show a glimpse of your process. It’s not a step-by-step guide to your everyday life. That’s just boring. A good way to go about sharing BTS content is to define a goal for each piece. Like Mike suggested, know what you want your audience to take away from your content.

Q5: What should you look out for when sharing behind-the-scenes content from your office or your story?

The most important thing to avoid is showing anything that’ll give you and your brand a bad reputation. Messy desks, unhealthy workspaces, mean colleague interactions are all possible triggers that’ll make your audience lose confidence in you.

Take Nicole’s advice: She tries to include her branding in her BTS content. For instance, as the founder of Lollypop Social, she wears bright clothes and uses a lot of candy and lollipop imagery in her content. It’s a way for people to resonate with her brand. Oh, and just because BTS content is light hearted, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t edit it. For the best results, always make sure you have a strategy behind your behind-the-scenes content.

Also watch out for:

  • Personally identifiable information
  • Unprofessional content
  • Offensive messages or references
  • Uncontrollable sounds or noises in videos
  • Copyright infringement in your background, including artwork and music
  • Outdated trends and references
  • Customer names or social accounts, unless you explicitly have their permission

 

And as Dan suggested, you could set up rules for how your BTS content should turn out. This lets you create content quickly without letting your surroundings affect its quality.

 

Q6: What should you remember when planning behind-the-scenes content?

You’re not your competition. Be proud of how you’re different from others and use that to your advantage. Having your own style and personality sets you apart, as Nicole said, because people prefer originality.

Also, include BTS activities in your content strategy. Have a set of pre-made posts ready to go in-between your usual ones. This gives you time to work out more of your other material. Variety is the key to good social media engagement.

Tamara said it well: your BTS content is supportive material. It should never overshadow your original purpose and regular content.

Some other things to remember, as told by our community:

  • Have a checklist of things you should and shouldn’t do
  • Tailor your content to the platform
  • Have a plan and goal for each BTS content
  • Your content should be easy to understand—consider your audience
  • Make sure that the content fits into your overall brand voice

Q7: How often should you post behind-the-scenes content?

That’s subjective.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. But even during that process, make sure you’re consistent in your content. Nicole suggested that you make 10% of your everyday posts BTS content.

However, depending on your industry, your audience, and the engagement you receive from your community for BTS content, you should alter your frequency. That’s why it’s essential that you track your social media progress.

Elena offered a good suggestion: Because Instagram Stories is more receptive to BTS content, consider doing more there and less on other social platforms.

Whichever you choose, make sure you’re listening to your audience and their needs. After all, quality trumps quantity.

Q8: What are great ideas for behind-the-scenes content small biz owners can implement on Twitter?

Think about why you’re in business, and then share content that explains your why to your audience. Nicole suggested posting images of your workplace, meetings with clients (get their permission first!), and musings on how you’ve overcome challenges during the course of your business.

Our community members gave us a bunch of other ideas as well:

  • Progress updates on projects you’re working on
  • Screenshots and snippets from videos and podcasts you’re doing
  • Announcements and events you’re attending
  • Timelines of projects – use Twitter threads, images, videos, GIFs, or even live video to capture the process from start to finish
  • Featured employees, volunteers, and customers
  • Personal interests or hobbies that’ll help your audience know you as a person better
  • Customer case studies and success stories

 

Check out these examples of great behind-the-scenes content, shared by our guest:

  • Andrew and Pete at #Atomicon20: Facebook Live video
  • Laura Pearman talking about her personal brand headshot: YouTube video
  • John Espirian sharing his personal learnings about trademarks: LinkedIn
  • And finally, our guest’s own article explaining how to use behind-the-scenes content for maximum benefit: Lollipop Social blog

That’s all I have for this week’s summary. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations and thank you. I hope it was useful to recollect the chat, and feel free to tweet your thoughts and responses using the #TwitterSmarter hashtag. Also, join us on Thursday at 1pm ET for our next chat.


 

About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

Say hello: Personal blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

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