Each section of a choir is responsible for its own tonality, volume, and range of notes. If you could only hear the altos sing their part of Mozart's Requiem, it might be difficult to identify the music. But really good singers know how to blend their voices with the other sections of the chorus so that the audience encounters the music as if they're only hearing the sound of one voice.
This is the kind of experience that you'll want to offer your customers as you take your company onto the social media stage of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and a blog. As you do so, be aware that the more pages you manage, the greater the risk you'll run of confusing or even alienating your audience if you fail to speak with a consistent voice.
To strengthen trust in your company brand, the content of each of your social pages must read as if it was written by the same author. Your audience will be loyal to a brand they can count on for consistency. After all, you are one unified company!
Find Your Voice
To avoid having to review each social media post before it's published, you'll want to have everyone on the same page right away! Before you begin posting, meet with every team member who will be maintaining a social media account. Work together through the following steps, keeping this larger question in mind: "What is our ideal company voice?"
- Set your tone: simply put, this is how your company will say things. Pretend your company is a person. Think about what personality this person should have in order to connect with your ideal audience. Would he or she be playful and casual, or take on a more refined tone? For example, a video game shop aiming at a primarily adolescent demographic might be more inclined to tell us how “stoked” it is about its business than a orthodontist’s office would be.
- Pin down stylistics: will your team use contractions or won’t they? And are sentences acceptable that begin with “and,” “but,” and “so”? What about sentence fragments? While these issues may seem like minutiae, they’re not. Your audience will notice patterns over time. Stylistics are also a big part of your tone: contractions, colloquialisms, and fragments will often sound more casual.
- Choose your networks: Where does your ideal audience hang out? Are they pinning, networking on Linkedin, tweeting, or doing all three? When you’ve answered that question, focus your energy on those networks.
Read The Reviews
Give your new social media initiative some time to gain momentum. Then check your Google Analytics account regularly to see if you’re getting the results you’re looking for. If you're not, try modifying the tone of your voice. Or if your team feels that a change in stylistics is called for, do it! You may even want to cut an unproductive network or two. Don’t be afraid to change!
Developing an effective, consistent social media presence takes time and effort, and you’ll want it to sound just right. Many voices, one chorus!