The cost of promoting your brand can be mind-chilling. For example, a 30-second Super Bowl commercial in 2019 went for approximately $5.25 million – over 50 hundred thousand dollars for one skimpy half-minute of audience engagement. So, it’s no wonder that many businesses use social media in an attempt to reach their audiences.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all, easy route to social media success.
In this post, you’ll learn the 7 crucial, fundamental steps for leveraging the ever-changing social media landscape. Before sharing the details, however, let’s be clear about one thing:
If your message is poorly written, grammatically incorrect, uninformative, boring, or sloppy, it will be a negative reflection on you and your brand.
The upside, of course, is that every intelligent, engaging, smart, friendly message you post reflects positively on you – so let’s get started.
- Humanize your brand. Social media is about people interacting with people, so use its people-centered environment to make a connection with your audience. Write as though you’re talking with someone you know. Imagine them sitting across from you reacting to what you’re saying. It’s usually a good idea to keep your writing informal, even when your post is informative.
- Focus your story on your audience – not on your company. Let your readers know how you can help them – what benefits they’ll enjoy from interacting with your company.Most people don’t go on social media to have a company sell them something; they go to engage with people and expect a conversation. So, ask for your audience’s input. Ask for their opinion. Tell them stories and invite them to respond.
- Post information that’s likely to be shared. Social media is about conversing with other people, so it’s likely that others will share posts that help them connect with friends, family and colleagues. You don’t need to mention everything there is to say about your topic. Leave some room for others to join in the conversation.
- Be concise. Long-winded paragraphs and complex language won’t make you sound intelligent or increase your audience base. Don’t ramble. Most people don’t have time to waste. Enough said. 🙂
- Pique curiosity in your headlines. Just like a first impression, your headline could be the only chance you have to grab an audience. Intrigue them. Make it fun. Leave them wanting more information. Ask questions in your headlines. Use provocative words like “hidden” or “secret”.
- Use an active rather than a passive voice. The difference between an active and passive voice is that the subject of an active voice sentence performs the action of the verb, while the subject of a passive voice sentence receives the action.It’s typically a better choice to use an active voice wherever possible because the sentence will usually be clearer, stronger and more concise. The passive option can tend to be overly wordy and clunky.There are, of course, times when the passive voice is a better choice, but those instances are usually not in social media.
- Maintain a consistent voice. What does your social media voice sound like? Is it fun and friendly? Authoritative? Straight forward? Formal? Blunt? Irreverent? Do you know? If you’ve never considered what your brand’s voice is, it’s time to choose one.Your “voice” is the personality of your brand on social media so you’ll need to establish how you want to come across. Let me share with you how Happy Grasshopper went through the process of analyzing our voice.
To begin with, our name is “Happy” Grasshopper. Therefore, it wouldn’t have made sense to choose a totally serious voice. That doesn’t mean we can’t take on serious subjects or treat them from an authoritative perspective. It does mean, however, that our voice should be upbeat, welcoming and – well – happy!Then, we considered our company’s mission. Our purpose is to help companies maximize the effects of connecting through conversation – and social media is all about generating conversation – so it makes sense for our voice to maintain a conversational personality.Ask yourself these questions about your own company: What is our mission? What kind of language does our audience use? Are there any mitigating circumstances – like the name of our company – that we need to consider?
You can use this process to help determine what voice will work best for your brand. Perhaps the most important element to this exercise is that once you decide on your social media voice, stick with it. Be consistent.
Of course, there’s more to writing great social media content than these 7 tips, but these are crucial to your success. I’ll be addressing this topic again soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you have any specific subjects on writing you’d like me to cover, don’t hesitate to suggest them.
A final word: Don’t forget every network – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, etc – is distinct. You’ll want to tailor your messages accordingly, but that’s a topic for another post.