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KATIE BARBER

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How to Sound Like a Real Person on Social Media

By Katie Barber, posted on July 21, 2017

Social media is your brand’s voice. People on social media know when they’re being marketed to, and today people demand authenticity from the brands they interact with, it needs to feel real and genuine. So, how can you make sure you’re being yourself on social media, while making it work for your business?

Understand who you’re talking to.

Who is the person who’s going to be interacting with your brand? Who uses your product or service? Having clear ideas of who this person is, will help you find them online and help you communicate with them. No more DM’s to teenage girls asking if they need unified comms. Find the right person.

Understand yourself. What’s your tone of voice?

If your brand was a person, what would it talk like? Would it be funny? Chatty? Would it be understanding? Caring? Or would it be authoritative? Outline what this tone should be and make sure anyone who’s posting on your social media accounts knows how to talk through this voice. Remember you’re talking to your customer, not other professionals in your field, so use language they understand.

Don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it.

Remember people saying this to you as a kid when you were still finding the confidence to be yourself? It’s the same with social media. Just because brands similar to you are doing something, doesn’t mean you need to be doing it. Have a think about what kind of social media platforms you need to be on. If you don’t feel like your customer is on Pinterest, then don’t use it just because other people are. Don’t be afraid to try out new platforms, like Periscope or Medium, even if no other brands you know are on them. You don’t have to have a Facebook just because it’s ‘the done thing’.

Have goals. What do you want from social?

If you understand what you require from social media, it will help you have success on it. What is it you need? More people to fill in a web form? More online sales? More web traffic? More enquiries? Do you need people to have a stronger awareness of who your brand is and what it does? Do you need to change public opinion about a certain issue? These things can all be achieved if you have direction.

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing.

I encourage people to get online and get promoting themselves through social media. But just like in real life, sometimes the things you say can make you look worse. Badly run social media profiles can not only be unproductive, they can put people off you, forever. Consider what you’re going to say and how you say it carefully. The great thing about social media is, you can think for a while about what you’re going to say and even ask other people’s opinion before you say it!

Your personality doesn’t just include the things you talk about!

The older I get, the more I realise that listening to people is the most important part of a conversation. You can learn so much and people just love to be listened to! You need to be responding and engaging with other people online, just like how you do in real life, instead of barking out statuses. An online conversation should sound similar to a real conversation. Do you know how to listen to people online?

Handle conflict gracefully.

If someone said something negative to you about your business, I’m sure you’d be able to tell them why what they said wasn’t true, or you’d maybe apologise or offer to rectify the situation if it was you who was in the wrong. People will always have something bad to say, but online, people tend to argue more quickly or ignore the comment. You don’t need to do this, an online conflict can be handled and doesn’t need to be scary.

Don’t be down on yourself

There are great things about your business. You probably spend a lot of time talking about it, and your customers love you. So why would it be ‘too boring’ to talk about online? If it’s interesting to talk about in real life, it’s interesting to talk about online! No enterprise is ‘too boring’. If it was nobody would have started it up and nobody would ever buy anything from it or require its services!

But at the same time…

You have something to offer other people, so online you should have something to offer too. If you wouldn’t just walk up to someone on the street and ask them to buy something from you or donate to you, don’t expect people online to do it. A good social media strategy should have something to offer behind it; some great, free web content, downloads and a special offer now and again.

I’m happy to chat more about how you can develop a strategy that’s right for you. Keep in touch! If you found this blog useful, please share it.


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