Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock has gone far with his friendly tough guy image.

As humans, we are built to be social. This instinct may run deeper than we realize. I had a funny experience that sheds light on this.

I took my baby in for her 1 year old doctor visit. The male nurse that often helps us greeted us, sans smile. For some reason, this nurse never smiles. At least, I’ve never seen him smile.

Once in the examining room, he approached my easy going 1 yr old. She became wary, watching him carefully. She didn’t smile and she pushed away his stethoscope. Next there was the normal amount of fussing that comes with not wanting to be examined.

After he took her weight and her height, we waited for the doctor. A mellow and pleasant caregiver, he came into the room smiling and asked how we were. My daughter smiled at him broadly. He observed that she was “social smiling” and asked if she was going through strange danger feelings yet? I almost laughed when I said yes.

In this scenario, would you rather be the first guy or the second guy? I think there’s a lesson in there about being friendly. It just might be basic instinct to distrust and even avoid unfriendly people. The bottom line is that we do others (and ourselves) a service when we approach others in a positive and a friendly way. This is especially important on social media, where we are literally trying to make friends for our businesses.

Many have cited social media’s business purpose as taking customers on a journey through know-like-trust. At trust, people buy. Here are some tactics for making your business more friendly and likable on social media:

-Instagram video guru Ariana Alexander has mentioned that it’s important to smile in your videos, from start to finish. It will feel awkward at first, but once you form the habit, it will come naturally. Don’t forget to smile in your photos too!

-Instead of typing up blog posts, dictate them into your phone or computer for that device to type them up. You generally want a more conversational and friendly tone on your blog and on social media.

-Top blogger and marketing strategist Mark Schaefer has said that the magic started happening for his blog when he stopped being so serious. When he felt funny, he was funny. When he was angry, he wrote something angry. Relaxing and being your true self in your writing and in relation to your audience can go a long way to building an online bond.

-Probably the hardest thing for businesses is creating a friendly voice for social media. People want to appear professional and when that becomes the focus, social media posts become boring. Speak as though your favorite customer is sitting right in front of you. That can help you keep it professional yet appropriately expressive.

-You might also want to avoid politics in your posts. Unless this is your business reason for being, it’s not in your best interest to get political. A recent Sprout Social survey found that 71% of consumers dislike when business express political opinions.

Now, there’s still a lot of other things that need to happen to make posts successful. Captivating pictures and well thought out copy are going to make your posts more popular. But being more friendly and likable on social media is important. It’s helps you make page visitors into friends  (technically fans of your page) and eventually, repeat customers.

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