The Importance of "Voice" in Social Media
So, social media. We all know what it is by now (and if not, what rock have you been living under?) and how important a cog it has become in driving the success of many businesses, from those with a single employee to large corporations, so I'm not going to try to further convince you of its importance. Instead, I thought that it might be important to take the time to dig into one of the most critical aspects of a successful social marketing campaign: voice.
Content is king in the world of social media and, like any aspect of business, your customer base will live or die based on how effectively you're delivering the product that they expect, and the clear communication of this promise is becoming more and more important as the social media sphere and its users mature. Social media is a powerful tool and, like any such tool that interacts directly with the end consumer, it's important to craft your message and control its delivery. Maintaining a consistent voice in the social media sphere is an effective way to do this. As the saying goes, honey attracts many more bees than vinegar. It's important that your voice remain clear and professional without falling into the stodginess that plagues many corporate marketing campaigns. Your business can have the most amazing products in the world, but if you are unable to convey that content to your readers/customers/fans in an engaging, likeable way, you may as well be posting photos of last night's dinner or giving away holiday packages to the local sewage treatment plant. Take these social media disasters as a lesson in careful tweeting.
So, where do you begin? You can start by presenting yourself as a confident expert in your given field. Your opinions should be intelligent, well-researched and honest, but with the caveat that the line between confidence and arrogance can often be thin. The rest comes from some soul-searching and creative thinking. The nature of a unique "voice" prohibits me from giving you a voice that will lead you to success, but I encourage you to explore and have fun. Find some of your favorite businesses and personalities and check out their Facebook (like us) and twitter (@upanup) pages. See what they post, how they interact with their fans. Do they have a Pinterest page (we do!)? What about Google+ (yep, that too)? With some practice and thoughtful planning it can be a wonderful and rewarding way to promote your business, interact with your best customers and stay up-to-date with all the going-ons in your industry.
When I started with Upanup Studios, I was encouraged to write articles like this one in first-person and with my own voice. The Upanup team is built around a core of employees with a wonderful diversity to their professional background and skillset, and each one of us has a different way of spreading that knowledge to our clients/readers/fans. By taking this extra step and allowing each of us to write with our own voice Upanup Studios allows this blog to become a fresh and diverse venue to showcase the knowledge of all of the fun, intelligent and professional people we have on staff.
Your presence and personality in the social media sphere is a telling indication of the people behind your company and the goals you pursue. Whether you choose to be cool, casual and fun or professional, sharp and intelligent (or some combination of both), in letting this personality and enthusiasm show through, your fans will better connect to the product you are trying to promote. Customers and fans want to connect with their favorite companies on a personal level and a well-considered voice is one of the most effective ways to allow them do so.
If you make them laugh, if you make them think, you'll find yourself at the top of your clients' minds when they're looking for the services/content you offer. Better yet, you might find them recommending your blog to friends, re-tweeting your best content, or ‘Liking' or Facebook page and posts and this, social media's ability to self-replicate and go "viral," is where the true strength of the medium resides.
So, let me end this most appropriately with an introduction. Hi, I'm Aidan Moher, Web Builder at Upanup Studios. I hope you enjoy our work and stick around to join the discussion. We'd love to get to know you.
For further reading on this subject:
- Daily Science, "Use of Human Voice in Social Media Can Help Organizations Build Relationships"
- Social Media Today, "Finding Your Social Media Voice"
- Radian6, "Social Media Content: Finding Your Voice"
- US Navy, "The Man Behind the Curtain: Writing and Content for Social Media" (I know, I know, the US Navy might seem like a weird source, but there's great information there!)
- 435 Digital, "The Social Media Marketing Strategy of Wow Bao"
- Mashable, "How 5 Top Brands Crafted Their Social Media Voices"