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Finding your voice on social media

BY: ON August 23, 2012

Social Media CommunicationsThere are just as many different ways to speak to people on social media sites as there are in “real life” settings.

You speak differently with co-workers in the office than you do with family and friends at a weekend BBQ. You wouldn’t speak to people the same way at a business luncheon as you would speak to those same people at happy hour. And you definitely never speak to a police officer the same way you speak to your kids (unless you really DO want that ticket!)

So, why would you speak to your friends on Facebook the same way to speak to your followers on Twitter or LinkedIn? Here are some tips on how to look at each audience when addressing them on social media.

LinkedIn is a business luncheon. You are there to fraternize with peers and show your polished professional persona to potential clients and even future employers. This is not the place for pictures of your beer pong tournament, no matter how proud you are of winning first place.

The work-oriented cocktail party. You are still presenting that professional face, but you might have added some of your quirky personality. Share articles, observations, retweet and mention others. But remember, no one cares what you had for breakfast (unless it was a fruit crepe, those things are truly awesome)!

Facebook is a neighborhood block party. You’re with your friends and people you know well. So you might be a little more candid! This is where you share pictures of your vacation, amazing accomplishments about your kids, funny stories, etc. But be careful, you never know when your mother-in-law, just two lawn chairs down, is tuned in to your every word.

Personal Blog
Sometimes you need more than 140 characters and you want to indulge in subjects that are personally meaningful to you. Facebook used to spotlight a “Notes” section for this purpose, but I don’t think anyone uses that anymore. On a personal blog you can talk about topics about which you are passionate. It’s one more way to show potential clients and customers that not all your writing has to be purely business oriented.

Business Pages
These tips apply for business pages as well. Keep LinkedIn buttoned up and professional. Keep Twitter conversational. Share photos, videos, and stories on Facebook. And expand on subjects in your business blog pages.

No matter who your audience is, keep these points in mind:

  • Be genuine, no matter what voice you use.
  • Be cordial to people, just as you would in a social setting. Never flame people on social media. People are watching.
  • Remember social networks are searchable. Don’t ever post something you wouldn’t want a potential customer to see.

And finally, the first word in social media is social. Interact and have fun!


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