Be Consistent with your Business Persona
To build your relationships in social media, brand yourself and your business consistently across all of your social media profiles. They don’t have to be identical; there is room for variation. However, they should be related and not contradict one another. Use similar logos, fonts, colors, backgrounds and profile information across all accounts but specific to each account. People will grow more comfortable when they can easily identify the person as you.
For instance, LinkedIn.com is more formal and professional platform. In this case, a professional head-shot serves you better. On LinkedIn people share specific content and information of value to business connections on LinkedIn. With Facebook, people share more personal items that are less formal. I personally like to keep my Facebook business page specifically for business and lean towards content that is helpful and of value to my followers. The general rule then is to remember where you are posting and craft your message for the specific audience maintaining your overall brand and persona.
Develop Trust with Your Followers and Connections
You are aware that building a brand is about more than logos, colors, and mission statements; it’s also about the actions that you take over time. Within each profile description of a social media account tell your viewers what to expect from you. Whatever you tell them, be consistent. You want to show them that you follow through with what you say.
For all posts in all accounts, you want to encourage shares, and discussion. You do this with a measured mixture of engaging information, useable content, helpful tips, funny stories, questions, and appropriate videos. Participate in the comments and replies, thanking those who share, and responding to comments and questions. It has been said the personal product sales should be approximately 20% of the time, while being the helpful expert fills out the major – 80% of the posts. Build a relationship where your audience can know, like, and trust you which gives them a reason to buy from you when they are ready.
Keep the Same Voice Throughout All Social Media Interactions
For a large company to maintain a professional voice online, it is good to have an established social media policy and one person in the lead. (Report coming soon) For a small business, keeping the same voice is not as hard. Usually, in the small business case, one person is creating social media content and messaging and has a plan for what will be communicated. The person performing this vital communication role becomes the persona people see and identify as your company. They represent you and become your customer service. It is a vital and important position.
Therefore, it is a very good idea to have the person creating social media messages in both situations to have a deep understanding of the business inside and out. They will need to buy into the mission and purpose of the company, have a deep knowledge of the audience they are trying to reach, the products or services the company is delivering, and the image the company wants to project to the world. When you create a comprehensive social media plan, you can hire people specifically to help with social media campaigns.
Designing a social media plan with specific messages and the company voice will build the relationships you desire, demonstrate your expertise, while building trust in the company.
Do you have a social media policy for your company? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
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