Everyone has a social media voice — a specific tone and system of rules in which they communicate and govern themselves online. As social media continues to be wildly important to online visibility and reputation, your social media voice says a lot about who your company is and what it stands for.
Send the right message to customers with a strong social media voice. Here are three easy steps to get started.
Describe Your Company in Three Words
To define your social media voice, the first step is to look to how you want to define your company. What values does your company represent? What is it that you bring to the customer that no other showroom is doing? What type of atmosphere (upbeat, low key, luxurious) do you create in your showroom?
You can get lost answering these questions about your company, so make it easy for yourself: Describe your company in just three words. Narrow your focus down to what you really want your company to be known for among customers and competitors. These three words will help you with every aspect of your social media, from choosing what to post, how to word your posts and what kind of content you'll create and share.
Here's an example:
Your word: Informative
Why choose it: Your showroom carefully watches the news and is ready to report on topics relevant to the industry (not necessarily political). Your posts help customers make informed decisions about their purchases and stay on top of new technologies.
Your word: Community-oriented
Why choose it: Your company supports community activities from local food drives to school plays. For showrooms that place a lot of emphasis on their communities, you might post local soft news items to keep your followers in the know about what's happening around town. When another local business succeeds, you're the first to rise up and congratulate them.
Your word: Family-oriented
Why choose it: Maybe you carry a lot of furniture and decor specifically for children's bedrooms or you work closely with local schools and charities that help kids specifically. Maybe your business is family-owned. If you want to play up these aspects of your business, family-oriented is a great way to start.
Your word: Luxurious
Why choose it: You carry high-end lines and cater to consumers at a higher price point. Your posts might focus more on the manufacturing and materials of your products, the softness of cashmere throws and the artisan work of you handcrafted products.
Choose words that will guide your posts. You can always change them later, but as you start building your voice, you need to be able to look to these words for guidance.
Determine Company Likes and Dislikes
It may be difficult to think about how your company could like or dislike something, but we're not expecting you to decide if your company prefers chicken or fish. By defining company likes and dislikes, you're essentially laying out what is okay and not okay to post. That includes topics and websites to share, discuss and avoid.
Create a chart of likes and dislikes to better determine what your voice will be talking about. List anything from topics (kitchen design) to places (your town, your local schools) to words to be used or avoided. Will you use jargon or slang?
For example, let's say "informative" is one of your words. You may want to share news articles and maybe even other blog posts about lighting. But which sources are okay? You may like one blog post from a particular blogger, but how credible is that blogger? You don't want to share information that turns out to be exaggerated or flat-out false, so name a few safe sources (the American Lighting Association for example) to start. You can always add to the list as you have time to vet sources.
Remember: be creative. If there's something that sets your showroom apart, like having a showroom pet, make sure you're highlighting that aspect in your words and likes likes. For example, if you have a cat living in your showroom, then one of your company words might be either family-oriented or pet-friendly. Therefore, you might like sharing funny or cute cat photos. List a few good online sources that you feel good posting about and work that into your voice. You might also share a few photos of your own showroom cat periodically.
Set Up a Posting Schedule
One of the hardest hurdles to overcome with social media is posting regularly. Some think that means posting all day every day. It doesn't.
Having a posting schedule will help you build up your voice and keep you active without over burdening yourself. You want to find a time when you're less likely to be busy and can really think about your social media voice. Once you choose a time, set aside 10 minutes in your day to post. Maybe you'll need the 10 minutes to check news sites or post photos from a showroom event. Maybe you won't. What matters, though, is that there's room in your day and you're really thinking about your message.
Your posting schedule is wholly unique to your brand, and you can set it however you'd like. If you post every other morning, your followers will begin to expect your regular posts and will actively seek them out. When you have a schedule, you won't feel pressured to post continuously all day. You know your audience will be waiting at your scheduled time, so there's no pressure to post for the rest of the day.
As your social media voice sharpens, your posts will come more naturally to you. Tell us, how do you envision your social media voice?
Photo: Animated Heaven via Flickr