Building a cohesive, consistent, valuable online presence for your business
Square rocks it on Facebook. The New Yorker is dominating Twitter. And West Elm is killing Pinterest. Does ExxonMobil Corporation even have a Facebook page? How does Lil Wayne‘s Twitter have so many followers? These are some good, interesting, and bad examples from which to stem your social media voice. We all know about the epic fails companies have committed, such as this Tweet by Kenneth Cole. While there are important do’s and don’ts taken from these stories, it is more important to focus on actually building an online presence for your business using social media.
Our online presence, personal or corporate, speaks volumes about our values, personality, philosophy, and more. What we do online matters and without our investment in shaping that voice, we run the risk of losing control of our online image. This is a huge PR tool and demands attention.
So often, businesses will start posting on social media without a plan of attack. The result of an approach like this is usually inconsistent posts on too many topics and the usage of multiple voices. Planning is crucial because to gain and maintain a healthy momentum, profiles need quality, consistency, and growth. One thing to consider in order to achieve quality and consistency, is to create a 6-12 month social media strategy.
We do this by personifying our online posts. Our team comes together to envision our posts on social media as if they were a person. We then give our person a name, personality, and 3 major characteristics.
As a tip, you don’t necessarily need to create a graphic and promote your person as a real mascot, but do build a one-page description of your person to use internally. This will help smooth over your posts, helping the voice remain consistent, especially if multiple people are posting to one account.
Lastly, develop a list of post and voice rules for your avatar. For example, ‘Rule #1: never abbreviate’, or ‘Rule #2: only speak conversationally’. This small set of rules can give a lot of shape to your social media personality.
To make your life easier, schedule your posts. Using Hootsuite or other programs, consider a routine for your posts. Consider making every day a theme; for example every Wednesday you post an offer or deal. On Mondays, promote a more start-of-the-week, motivational tone in your posts. At the very least determine what days and times your audience is most receptive. You can do this by running analytics or insights on your profiles (e.g. Facebook Insights).
Finally, establish a plan for scale-ability! Have a 6-12 month plan of how you will maintain consistency while steadily incorporating new media and more social profiles. If you already have a good handle on your Facebook and Twitter, then launch an Instagram or Google My Business page. Post more photos, and if you already do, then consider bringing in videos. Maybe it’s time to get consistent on YouTube. Always strive for growth and change.
The best campaigns and approaches are the ones that are planned and well thought out. Bring your team together and have a social media strategy brainstorming session! Make sure you have a white board, colorful pens, and an open mindset to inspire innovation.