One of the things I am always saying companies should do when they use social media, is be themselves. Don't be afraid to post a pic of the company picnic, to talk about the work your employees do for a local charity, or pictures of your best customers. These touches help show your humanity, and make it easier for people to connect with you.
Last night, I took a bit of my own advice. I was on Twitter, and at the same time scanning TV channels to find something good to watch. I noticed that Bill Cosby's Himself standup routine from 1983 was on, which is an absolute classic. I started watching and laughing and sharing some of the funnier lines with my followers, many of which agreed it was a hoot, and started adding in their own favorite parts.
Then @krisrevelle made the mistake of saying that she would love if I tweeted the entire thing. So that's what I started doing, and everyone started jumping in and sharing their favorite spots, and we started helping each other flesh out each skit.
It was hilarious. I was laughing nonstop for an hour or so, and loved sharing the tweets and memories with my followers. And I noticed something as this unfolded; most of the people that were replying to me and playing along, were people that I had rarely or never talked to before on Twitter. Bill Cosby is NOT what I usually am talking about on Twitter. But it seems that I had found a topic that some of my followers could connect with me with, and share. And hopefully that will lead to us connecting on other topics in the future.
So the lesson for companies involved in social media? Don't be afraid to occasionally get off-topic. You might find that you suddenly become a lot more interesting to others, and you may make some new connections and friends.
And if you are a Cos fan, here's one of the skits from that show, Cosby goes to the dentist: