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Most businesses have now come to recognize the necessity of developing their online presence. However, in this day and age, a static website is far from sufficient. Customers want to feel engaged and connected with the brands they love and in order to do that, some companies may have to step outside of their comfort zones.
Social media can be challenging for businesses that are used to speaking at their clients rather than with them. The advent of the internet has created opportunities for consumers to inform themselves without having to rely upon the perpetual sales pitch.
Stephanie Schwab of Crackerjack Marketing authored a terrific article for Social Media Explorer which breaks your brand voice down into four key pillars.
As you begin getting acquainted with social media, it is only natural to feel a bit outside of your natural element. The marketing efforts of days past have always been very product-centric whereas currently, there is a far greater emphasis being placed upon the consumer and how their lifestyle fits with the product or services being offered.
If you are truly interested in establishing a meaningful rapport with your clientele, the initiation of a two-way dialogue is critical. In order to do that, you will first need to determine what your branding voice is going to sound like.
As you develop the voice of your brand, you will first need to do a bit of research while asking yourself some questions:
- Who is my customer base?
- What interests them?
- What is it they relate with right now?
As you begin formulating your answers, the manner in which you address your audience should start to become apparent. While it makes sense for a law firm to communicate in professional terms, the owner of a maternity store may choose a more lighthearted approach in order to better relate with their clientele.
Also, if your customer base is fragmented due to a multitude of products and services being offered, you may want to consider varying your voice across various social channels in order to target each individual group.
Your tone carries you a long way on social media. When it comes right down to it, humanizing your brand voice is absolutely essential in order to succeed online. It is the way in which you communicate that will establish your credibility and help with creating meaningful back-and-forth dialogues.
It is beneficial to stay aware of industry trends while researching the style of messaging being utilized by your competition. Arming oneself with these insights will allow effective communication with current and future supporters alike over the long-term.
When communicating with your followers, the desire to be seen as a connoisseur in your field is a natural one. However, brands put themselves at risk of alienating their base by employing terminology that can be difficult for the casual observer to understand.
When adding your business to the social media landscape, you should seek to find the commonalities between the provider and the consumer while developing meaningful long-term relationships with your biggest advocates.
Once again, refer back to your earlier research and work off of your customer profiles. Analyze specific demographics such as age, gender, education level, etc. to ensure that you are both speaking the same language.
For example, brands hoping to attract a younger crowd may be quick to incorporate slang into to their promotional campaigns whereas those preferring a more mature audience are likely to keep things a bit more academic.
Aside from being told that you absolutely must be on social media, what is your primary objective?
Are you seeking to entertain your audience? Educate them? Provide customer service? Or is it simply another selling platform? There are a variety of uses for social media and it is more than possible for several to be enacted upon simultaneously.
Regardless of which direction you decide to head in, the ultimate goal is to engage your audience and provide enough value to get them invested in your brand. Once you’ve applied your business to each of these four pillars, you will have built a solid foundation for a captivating online voice.
Now have some fun and start up a conversation!