Some businesses thrive on social media… and some businesses flop. The difference is usually that the first business uses an authentic voice that has a lot of personality while the second sounds like a robot programmed by an economics professor. But here’s the catch: sometimes a business can go overboard and end up sounding unprofessional rather than charming. Here’s how you can make sure your business will thrive with an authentic voice without sounding unprofessional:
Use Your Own Voice
People like to connect with businesses on social media because it gives them a chance to connect with them personally. In a day when people can order anything they want online or visit self-check-out in store, it can be difficult to make those connections and to get to know a business.
So when you’re writing a post for Twitter or creating a caption for a post on Instagram, don’t be afraid to write something that you might share on your own social media page. However, it should still be appropriate and relate in some way to your business. This post on Goodyear’s Facebook page is a good example:
While still showcasing their product, Goodyear shared an attention-grabbing photo and inserted some humor with the caption. And even though this post is not directly related to making a sale, it is an appropriate use of Facebook because it promotes their brand directly on their fans’ newsfeeds!
Images are a great way to give your posts a personal touch. Even candid photos taken with your smart phone can be well-received because it shows the human aspect of your company. So don’t be camera-shy when it comes to social media!
Write for Your Audience
In order to make the most impact in digital advertising it is important to know who your audience is. Writing posts that appeal to middle age men is going to be very different from ones that appeal to millennial women. TheSkimm, a media company that writes a daily newsletter that specifically targets millennial women, does a good job of repurposing their news blurbs across multiple social media platforms. Here’s an example from their Facebook page:
So while you are infusing personality to your social media feeds, be sure that you are thinking about how your target audience will react. The best way to decide whether a post is appealing without seeming unprofessional is to actually ask someone in that demographic how they feel about your post before you make it live! After all, once something is posted to social media you can never truly take it back.
Respond to Your Customers
Social media isn’t all funny memes and witty captions, it’s a tool customers will use to get in contact with customer service. Make sure that you regularly check the direct messages in all your social media accounts as well as your website and any other digital site where you are listed (such as Yelp). Facebook will show your average response time to direct messages right on your page so everyone can see how easy (or difficult) you are to reach.
Responding to reviews is another opportunity you can use to be authentic and connect with customers digitally. If someone leaves a wonderful review, be sure to respond to thank them for their time and say how it was a pleasure to work with them. Try to create a specific comment that doesn’t feel like a generic copy/paste response.
If someone leaves a negative review, post your phone number and try to get in contact with them to resolve the issue. Here’s how Wendy’s does it on Twitter:
If this person continues to try and post negatively about your business, write a comment saying that you have tried to contact this person and they have not responded. If the issue persists, you can try to block the user from posting to your accounts.
According to Forbes, “Authenticity is the key component of what makes social media so successful for businesses… It reinforces legitimacy for your company and provides a platform for you to showcase your brand’s unique personality.” As a small business owner, you know what makes your business special and how hard you work every day to better serve your customers. Digital advertising and social media are ways for you to share your passion and expertise with your customers so they will learn to love your company too!
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