No one likes a showoff.

But you’re doing all of these great things — delivering great service, selling great products and earning new fans. Wouldn’t those make for great stories to share?

Absolutely. And as a word-of-mouth and social media marketer, it’s your job to help those stories get shared. But before you e-mail everyone that news release or tweet that #humblebrag, consider how these beloved companies show off without annoying their fans and followers.

  • Show off your employees: If you want to humanize your brand with social media, you’re in luck — humans work for you and run your social media presence, too. So make them the focus of your content. For example, during an ongoing contest, Threadless fans were rewarded with videos of employees performing weird skits, such as a one-person pillow fight or a sandwich-making contest. The brand’s fans loved it and shared it, and the brand got tons of new fans to participate, too.
  • Show off your expertise: REI is famous for its knowledgeable and helpful staff. So to make them accessible to all of the brand’s Twitter followers, it responded in real time to tweets about what to get friends for Christmas with videos of personalized suggestions from employees. Maybe you don’t have the resources to respond with real-time video content, but you do have experts — help your fans out by giving them an opportunity to speak directly to them.
  • Show off your fans: When Old Navy reached 5 million Facebook fans, it thanked them all with a discount — and used the fans to present the deal by making them a part of a giant coupon. But you don’t have to have 5 million fans to show just as much love. Grasshopper, a phone-system provider, highlights its clients’ small businesses in its blog and even does the work to get them coverage in bigger publications. What can you do to put the spotlight on your fans?

How about you? What can you show off without being a showoff?

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