As the owner of a communications firm, I am often asked to evaluate the social media efforts of my clients’ businesses. I cannot stress strongly enough that social media is merely a vehicle for communicating the brand message and not a solution in itself. As women business leaders get comfortable with communicating in the “cyber” world, the methodology that we use should sync with our overall communications strategy. The concept here is that the persona we use to engage online should be no different than the personality we convey off line. In order to effectively and consistently have an integrated social media presence, you’d be well advised to hire a community manager. But I caution you from experience – make sure that the voice of the company is well understood prior to engaging your customers and clients online.
Here is a great list from Pam Drayton to help you create and maintain an effective social media voice:
Tips for creating your social media voice:
- Constantly be aware of your intended market and the Social Media vehicle you are planning to use. If you are selling medical hardware to brain surgeons you will not use the same communication techniques, words and terminology you would use if you are selling gaming systems to teenagers.
- Identify your target market before you settle on your voice. What is the age of your preferred market; what is their education background; where do they live, what are their values and beliefs. It is also very important to determine, and always keep in mind, what your target market wants or needs from you.
- Have passionate, but do not become overly emotional. There is a huge difference between telling your readers, “This is an exceptional, high-quality product that will perfectly meet your needs,” and “If you don’t buy this product, your business will fail miserably.”
- To follow that note, always be honest. And play fair. You may actually believe the product your competition is offering is nothing more than junk; but don’t actually say that. Instead explain how you believe your product is better.
With written social media communications all you have is words. In order to precisely and authentically relay your message you must choose those words carefully, and use a social media “voice” that not only enhances your communication efforts but is in sync with your overall brand.