With social media being a relatively new outlet for companies and people to express themselves, questions about how exactly to run these pages are still arising. Whether you are using your personal or professional social media accounts, it’s important to keep in mind who your audience is, as we learned in a previous blog, 3 Consequences of Not Embracing Cultural Awareness in Online Communities.
A big part of the consideration of how to run the social media page of your small business is what kind of “voice” you want to portray. While we all know you can’t usually convey actual tone of voice over the internet, it’s very easy to read tone into other’s social media posts. This is why it is very important to make a conscious decision about what kind of voice you want to come across to your readers/subscribers. Here are some examples that you and your business can choose:
- A conversational voice. This is probably the most common type of voice or tone that is used by personal users of social media sites. You update your status, tweet, or comment on a blog just like you were actually chatting with a person on the other side of your computer or device. You can choose to write this way for your business pages as well. Just know that it is important to address any issues that may arise with a businesslike, professional tone as well.
- A customer-service voice. Your company may find itself responding to customer service inquiries, or people who may have had a less than pleasant experience. Adopting a professional and courteous customer service voice is imperative in these situations. Some companies may choose to keep their social media presence specifically geared towards customer service. The major difference between this and a more conversational voice would be use of the word “I”. In this instance, your company is more likely to use a generic “we” when posting social media updates.
- An advertising voice. Not many companies choose to use this approach, because it can alienate customers. If your company chooses to go with a sales voice, you may choose to eliminate the ability for customers to comment on your posts. This way, your social media pages are used strictly for advertising rather than communicating with consumers. While perhaps not the most friendly approach, it can be successful if done correctly. Over time, your followers will come to understand that your social media pages are used for things like special offers rather than a personal communication tool.
Most companies have a specific person or team of people who run their social media pages. It’s easy to just let the person or team running the pages post and respond however they see fit. But it’s a great idea to discuss a specific strategy with your social media team, so you and your company present a cohesive voice across all platforms.
It is important to consider what the objective of your company is when it comes to deciding what kind of voice you would like to portray through social media. Using the wrong type of voice to interact with your customers can alienate them, or even worse, cause them to lose interest in your company altogether. Conversely, the right type of voice can go a long way towards happy customers who tell their friends and family about your business.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. With more than 40,000 active small business members, ChamberofCommerce.com is the largest chamber of commerce online.