Even though social media marketing is categorized as a form of marketing that promotes the content you publish, it should not look like traditional marketing messages, even if you’re a B2B (business to business).

Too many brands make the mistake of focusing their social media marketing content on selling their products or services because they don’t think they can be creative or make personal connections. However, even an inherently “boring” business can create compelling social media content that doesn’t focus on pushing out sales messages.

Instead, make sure your social media efforts are about fostering a community of passionate customers through genuine conversations. Here are four things to remember when creating your social media marketing content:

1. Focus on the passion, not the product.

People share and interact with content that helps them express who they are and what they are passionate about. When you’re creating social media content, think about what your product or service says about those who use or buy it and what is allows them to do. For example, our customers love what email marketing does for their business — which is their passion— they don’t literally love email marketing.

Here’s an example of how we focused on our customers’ passion.

2. Listen to what your customers have to say and get to know them.

Show your fans and followers that you genuinely care about them. Don’t just ask questions to ask questions. It’s important to use the conversational nature of social media to build relationships that foster loyalty. Customer feedback is also something you can use to improve your business.

3. Tap into the heart — not the wallet — of your customers.

The best content is always the content that evokes an emotional response from your online community. Put yourself in the shoes of your fans and followers, and use their perspective to shape your content and ultimately, the nature of your social media presence.

4. Add personality to your content.

As a B2B, your customer base may be full of professionals, but that doesn’t mean they’re not human. Forget the standard marketing tone and add personality to your content. Show your social media followers that there’s an actual person behind the logo of your business.

This was a fun way we incorporated a little personality into a Friday post.

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at the Social Media Strategies Summit, hosted in Boston. In my presentation, I focused on how B2Bs can create successful social media marketing content. Although I spoke about producing B2B-specific content, the way you should really think about your social media marketing content is as P2P (people to people). Remember, the reason people use social media is to connect with friends and to be social. Your brand should feel like a trusted friend that shares a common interest.

By building relationships and engaging in social media conversations with customers, you can implement your marketing message in a softer way. With social media marketing, your message is seamlessly integrated into the conversation rather than viewed as an interruption.

At the end of the day, we all do business with people we know, like, and trust. Social media marketing is really just word of mouth powered by technology.

How do you come up with engaging social media marketing content? Tell me in the comments below.