Who Are You Talking To?
We’ve talked about what you say in your social media conversation many times. How to choose content, what kinds of content are best received, images versus text, and so on. Choosing your content, the time to share it, how to track and analyze it, and so forth should be down to a science for you if you read and obey my posts (obey – I think I’m developing a complex).
What we haven’t talked about is how you say what you say. Think of having a conversation with your friend, or your mom, or your co-worker. Does your voice on social media sound anything like you would in these situations? Why or why not? Good questions to ask.
The first thing you need to do is decide who you are talking to. This is done by creating marketing personas. Break up your target clientele into 3-5 personas and give them names. Use their age, income level, job, education level, marital status, goals, challenges, values, fears, and more to group people together into these broad categories.
Once you’ve assigned and named them – Rick, Betty, whatever – then you can address your message to them specifically, more or less. It’s not quite the same as knowing all of them on a first-name basis and being aware of their kids’ sports schedules, but it at least gets you in the right mindset to understand and deal with the general direction they’re coming from.
Depending on your business, you may want to add more specifics to your personas. Hobbies could be important, or what kind of online reading they do. Tailor the specifics of each persona to your industry, your customer base, and if possible to the specific customer. When you can use real, personalized data to build your personas, it makes them all the more useful in crafting your message and conversation.
Don’t Use That Tone With Me
Once you know who you’ll be talking to, you then have to decide who you are. It might sound strange, but your brand identity isn’t likely to be the same as your own personality. You have to determine what your voice will be, and what kind of tone you’ll use in different situations.
You can think of your voice as an adjective. Do you want to come across as positive, cynical, authoritative, or whimsical? Whatever this voice is, it needs to be consistent from post to post and from network to network. If your brand is seen as professional, clowning around on Facebook will seem strange to your readers. Decide who you are (who your company is) and stay true to that. You can use different tones to adapt your voice to the platform used and the people who use it. You may use a different tone on Twitter than you do on Facebook, just make sure your voice is consistent. For instance, your tone is the difference between saying “we apologize for any inconvenience” or “oh, no! we’re so sorry about that!” Both are attempting the same message, but the tone of one would be much better received in certain situations than the other.