There are businesses that love Tripadvisor and others that do not. Like many things in marketing, there are double edged swords. Tripadvisor brought in a marketing platform when businesses did not have access to guests and guests did not have access to reviews. The model worked, it helped both the travel industry and corporate mandates, but that was before social media. Is Tripadvisor now becoming a thing of the past and new kids on the block are moving in?
Gogogbot is making reviews more personal, more trustworthy and more direct. They are using existing social media platforms, integrating them into their system and letting people share their travel experiences with people they know and in most cases they trust.
Gogobot is hitting pretty hard in the cyber world and may just be something to watch. If you are looking for an alternative to Tripadvisor this may be the spot for you and your guests.
Review of Gogobot for travel and tourism businesses
Gogobot is a sharing social network for travel where people can share their travel stories, reviews and opinions online with thier own network. The emphasis that Gogogbot is maximizing on is sharing reviews and opinions that you know and trust.
They are using new technology to make sharing of stories and opinions easier with a focus on smartphones and tablets. Mobile is coming and Gogobot is a leader in designing and working with mobile technology.
The look is similar to Pinterest and reviews are similar to Tripadvisor. Users are rewarded with Gogobot points when they interact on the site, either by sharing photos, images, answering questions or posting reviews. Points will have you grow and be recognized as a Gogobot ambassador.
The site as it stands right not is for personal use only, but if you watch the video, Gogobot developers see the need for business users input and a place for them on the site as well. It took Facebook some time to add business pages, now known as fanpages, Gogobot is also slowly coming into the marketing game and including businesses in the platform
Enhanced interactivity is another assest of Gogobot. Travelers can use their images to create postcards, providing a great digital assest that other thrid party reveiw sites do not offer.
Users can also create their own personal travel guides so they can share thier travel experience through an easy to use guide. Nice, really nice work Gogobot!
They have created resources for travel bloggers with website widgets and badges. It is assumed that this can also be used for businesses who want to help their guests discover this new platform and start the conversation about their area, destination and business in their personal trip guides.
Watch this interview with the Gogobot Senior Manager and decide for yourself
3 out of 10 top level executives have personal or business social media profiles, labelled as owners or presidents of a company or engage as a person without their title. That is only 30%. Many small business owners, presidents and vice presidents go back and forth on whether they would like to be present in social media. Should they be present, is it expected that they are present, if they are not present what does that say about your company?
It is a tough question and the only person who can answer that is you, the President, Owner or Vice President. There are pros and cons to this strategy that we will share with you so you can decide if a social media presence is advantageous to your company, no matter how big or small.The role of the owner and President can differ from company to company, so it is best for each company to make their personal assessment.
Pros to having the Owner or President on social media
- The owner or President is seen as accessible, caring and engaged. This is a good thing for any company.
- Guests and clients have direct access to the powers that be when a President or owner is on social media. Many people like that.
- If something goes wrong or if information needs endorsement, the final word is always best from an owner or President. People listen when an owner speaks, really they do.
- Brings humanness to a company when people see an upper level executive engage on social media
Cons of having an Owner or President on social media
- Owners and Presidents are people too, and they can also have a bad day or make errors. Spelling mistakes, wrong information can create a huge media relations issue if these issues arise.
- Having upper level management on social media can invite complaints and makes these public for all to see. People will complain no matter what but do you really want to have the Presidents line on social media become the ‘complaint customer service line’
- Time, time, time. The role of owners and upper level management is to build companies, and focus on the strategies of a company. Is this persons time best spent answering tweets and questions that staff can easily handle and are paid to do?
- Not knowing social media etiquette. This is a big one, and it is important. Social media etiquette is an important part of this networking tool and owners may not know how to do this nor may they want to do this.
Only your company can decide whether a presence of senior management on social media is a good idea
It will depend on the person, the commitments the position already has, the personality of the owner or president and if your business can benefit from this. Most upper level management are swamped with strategy and business development, making the added task of social media almost impossible to take on.
Quote the owner if you wish, or rely information and letters written by upper level management if you wish. There is a way to create a presence without having to open up social networks for an owner or president. The word of the week is creativity, be creative on how you can create that presence without having this person on social media.Create a twitter chat date with the owner once a week on twitter so they are tied to social media all day long.
Why do the work and not win? Would you train for a marathon and not finish, would you change your diet and not lose weight? Would you invest your money only to lose it? If you are going to spend time doing something, why not build a winning strategy instead of just…doing..
Building a winning strategy for social media takes planning, creativity, time and monitoring. We all want to win, but the winning part includes all of these parts, each part, without forgetting a part. We want you to win, we really, really do, so we have put together a list of items that will enable you to build a winning social media strategy not just a social media program.
7 points for a winning social media strategy for tourism
1. Tell stories – Traveling is about stories. Tell stories about your destination, let people into the local and residential part of the destination. With permission, share guest stories, share employee stories, share your story. Point away from your business and share your brand and what is stands for.
2. Be authentic – People buy from people. In the land of social media it is important to show your personality, your humanness, the reality of the situation. This applies to photos and videos as well. Stock photos just don’t cut it anymore, go out there and take photos of your area, events, people and your destination.
3. Share content that is interesting to your market. Put yourself in their shoes, what do they want to know, what are they interested in, what inspires them, what makes them excited.
4. Build both a content and network strategy. That means, plan your content, and plan how you are going to share that content. What content is better for Facebook, what content is better for Twitter. Where are you going to point readers to once they read the content. Uploading content is great but you also have to have a way to broadcast and move that content so people will see it, read it, share it.
5. Be entertaining. There is soooo much information out there, and people are bogged down with this information, they truly want to be entertained! This makes social media more about creativity than direct marketing. Not all of us wake up each day and are ready to entertain so planning this makes social media easier.Finding your voice is one of the easiest ways to entertain.
6. Be timely. Know local and international festivals, plan when you want to talk about these upcoming events and what you will highlight about these event. Stay on top of current events so that you are aware of what is going on in the world and make use of this information.
7. Don’t sell. We have said this over and over again. Do not sell your product. Social media is about being social and there is nothing worse than being that person in the global room that is pitching people instead of being social.
Put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and make it happen.
Before you open any social media network, sit for as long as you need and plan your strategy. If you have a strategy, look over it again and cross off any posts, tactics or thoughts that are related to selling your business. Cross off any posts that point to your business directly and exchange these ideas with points made above.
You want to win right?
This is the talk among travel professionals, US campaign officials, other industries and personal branded businesses. Social Media has changed the face of marketing by adding less challenges to the face of marketing but also creating some new challenges to marketing. It seems to be a double edged sword, change always seems to do this. If you know what the challenges are, you can focus on these when developing our social media strategies, and know where to put your marketing focus, instead of just coasting on the less challenging aspects.
How social media has made marketing less challenging
For all businesses, in particular small businesses and international businesses that have a global market to reach, social media has made marketing less challenging:
1. There is less hierarchy in journalism, less hierarchy in marketing dollars, less hierarchy based on business size. Journalists were the king when it came to public relations and getting reports out about your business in print media. Now there are netitizens, bloggers, online communities and clients that do this for you and can get you as much if not more coverage depending on their following. This flattening of the written word has made it a lot easier for many businesses to get noticed. It is not who you know now but who you know that a great audience and that is now hundreds and thousands of people, not just a handful.
2. Guests and cleints have direct contact with businesses and in some cases business owners so they can go straight to the source to get what they need of have questions answered in real time so they can make immediate decisions about where they put their dollars, pesos, euros…photos and videos are also helpful when making a vacation decision.
3. Opinions and reviews are online so if you want to check out public opinion about a product or destination, you don’t have too look or wait for a real person to give you this information, real people share their opinions freely online so that others can share in their experiences. Word of mouth marketing still exists and is now more inspiring than ever, but you can obtain more opinions when you go online to check out what someone has said.
4. Businesses feel like they have more marketing freedom, more transparency and more help from their guests when marketing their business. Prior to social media it was paid ads, working with an ad agency, public relations that required great contacts and even better writing skills, event marketing, word of mouth and print marketing through brochures. If you had an international client base, even more challenging and more expensive. Now you can use social media to create all of this on a few social media platforms.
5. Word of mouth marketing, what people say about your business, can now be monitored. Tripadvisor, Yelp, Open table and more third party review sites have made it possible for owners to see what people are saying and respond to this. In the previous off line word of mouth marketing, you could not stop the opinions or dispel the opinions of guests. Nor could you reward guests for being ambassadors of your business. Now you can!
How Social media marketing has made marketing more challenging
With the good comes the bad, or the new challenges that need to be faced. Social media marketing has brought in some new challenges to marketing and this is what makes it all seem so fuzzy, and hard to use or understand.
1. Creativity is more important than ever. People need to be fed more creative messages, more creative images for your business to get noticed. If you are not that creative then it is best to hire someone, but that takes money and not every business has the money to hire the most creative marketers.
2. Time. Who has the time to really do social media well? Who has the budget to pay people to complete their social media strategy. It may be for free as some people like to think, but the time factor is huge!
3. Big players still have better brand recognition so their social media continues to grow. Small businesses are still determining and growing their brand. Makes it super hard to compete.
4. Marketing is now a 24 hour a day job. There is no sleep for the weary, capturing people on the highway billbaords are not enough, messages need to be delivered 24 hours a day…..day in….day out………and with gusto, not just a post, with creativity and gusto!
5. Privacy and VIP client nurturing is over. Everything is public and everything is shared. This makes it hard to reward good guests and clients and not have others also wanting the same treatment.
6. Competition is greater than ever. Due to budget restraints and limited resources, marketing was competitive but not over the top. With social media everyone can deliver their message so the question is, how do you get your message noticed?
7. More monitoring of your message is required. Guests and clients can now create the message for you, so you are checking if your message is getting out there and you are checking what messages are being created for you by poeple, every day people.
8. You have lost control of your message. Third party sites have guaranteed that you have lost control of your marketing message. People will create their own for you, and it could be a good message or it could be a bad message. Similar to #7, you need to monitor what these independently created messages are, and hope that it is a good one!
The US presidential election is a great place to see how social media marketing and the networks that use social media can take marketing right out of the hands of the owner, whether you are a personal brand or company. If you understand the challenges, you can work around them and make your social media marketing work for you and not against or parallel to you.
Social media marketing is tricky and takes a whole lot of creativity! If you are up for the challenge and love to think outside the box, social media marketing will be your thing. If you are not that creative, think about enlisting someone who is creative to plan your social media marketing strategies. There have been some super creative strategies released recently and Red Bull seems to take the cake on this one. They published a great campaign that resulted in hundreds and thousands of new fans, incredible activity on Twitter and reconfirmed their brand with millions of people.
Build your social media campaign around your brand, not your business
Red bull could have sent out posts saying that Red Bull was delicious, gave you energy, is a top energy drink…..and on and on…this would be the content of their posts IF they were pointing directly to their brand, something that we try to discourage not encourage when posting on social media.
What Red Bull did was point to what their brand stood for, energy, adventure, power, risk, the ability for you to do anything when you drink a Red Bull! The campaign showed a man jumping from space through the sound barrier in the atmosphere. They showed that Red Bull makes you a hero, powerful, full of energy to break the sound barrier….you are invincible, the brand is invincible…and let people assume that if you drink Red Bull you too can do this, you too will be powerful, strong and adventurous and can do anything.
What does your brand stand for and how can you point away from it to get more attention
Think about your brand. What does it stand for and how can you point to something related to this idea of your brand and get a reaction, get people paying attention. If you are about relaxation, what does that mean to people. If you are about adventure what adventure can you create…if you are about culture what social media campaign can you create that points to culture and not directly at your business.
A great campaign will lead to other media placements for free
Public relations is very similar to this type of social media marketing. If you do something amazing, then other media outlets will pick up the story. In the case of Red Bull, they used social media to highlight this campaign but they received coverage in print and on television as well. What was a social media focus now provided them with free television coverage and free print coverage! Now do you see how pointing at your brand’s ideas and beliefs can gain you more marketing!!! The other media coverage was for free!
As we have said before, step away from the computer. Take a break and really think about way to creatively highlight your brand and what it stands for not your business and what it does! This is what can really fuel your social media and how people view what you do and what they will gain when they book with you.
We work through with you about what to post on your social media networks to market your business, but we have not let you know is what not to post. What not to post, is just as important as what to post as you could be held legally liable for posts that dishonor client privacy and confidentiality or could be posting information that is just not useful when building guest and client engagement and trust.
Client privacy and confidentiality should be your most important objective. This is done with financial information and should also be done with photos, names, locations and video. In the age of social media, it is easy to assume that content in any form is allowed but not all content will be useful to promote your business, create a positive image for business or are within your rights. Read closely so that you are not a victim of any of these errors made on social media.
What not to post on your social media networks
1. The purpose of social media is build your business as an expert, a trustworthy source that is knowledgeable in your field. For tourism businesses, this is sharing knowledge about your destination and your city, activities, deals, shortcuts, adventure and more. Posting on social networks about your business only (how great you are and what a great business you think you are), and not sharing your knowledge and expertise about the location is a social media no, no. Gain the confidence of your followers and fans by being helpful and gracious, useful and knowledgable. Once they have trust in your ability to communicate, they will look further into what you do and the services you provide.
2. Do not post photos of guests or clients without their permission. Verbal permission including approval of a photo or video can be enough. If you are going to use the photo in a marketing campaign, get a media release from your guests to ensure their permission. When taking photos of a public place, and people are in it, you are legally allowed to post the photos without permission. If your guests are in your hotel or in their hotel room and take a photo, out of courtesy ask permission, as they are in a private space. If they say no, honor this. If you wish to include personal information like names, ask for permission for this as well. They will appreciate that you asked and appreciate that you took the care. When a guest posts their photos online or on their personal pages, you can share and not have to ask permission but if you are the first person to post, ask for permission.
3. Do not post gossip on your social media sites. Be very careful of your opinions. It is like the old saying, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all. Like any social situation, politics, religion and sex should be curbed and avoided….it is best to talk about the weather, your destination, your neighbors and what they offer, anything but politics and religion…and in most cases sex…the final one we will leave up to you.
4. Careful who you quote and if you quote make sure your facts are right if it is factual information. Again if it is opinion, go for it, put post positive things, not negative things. Ask permission for quotes verbally especially if you will be siting names.
What is for public consumption is a fine line. When it comes to your business, air on the side of caution. If you are hoping to gain guests and build trust, read the above. Know your rights but also know the rights of others. Some people like to keep their lives private and this should be respected. If you respect that right you will gain more guests, if you disrespect, your guest list just may get smaller…and smaller and smaller.
Social media does not provide you with the right to post what ever you want and journalism rules really do apply….so empower yourself with these rules and in some cases laws to ensure you don’t overstep your bounds.
This is a question all of us would love an answer to so we can prepare, budget and decide whether social media is something that can be added to our marketing and if it is affordable. For many small tourism businesses social media is not a cash expense but it is a time expense and time is money. The question is how much money or how much time.
Taking the guess work out of the price tag for social media marketing
Before you put a dollar figure to social media marketing, decide if you want to put the final value as time or as money, or as both. For some it is an ability issue and that can bring up some other very important questions. If you are not computer literate, then social media could mean more time or more money. This assessment assumes that a small business owner is literate in computer programs, or can figure them out through some online tutorials.
Assessing a social media marketing budget in time or money
So you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get started. When calculating your social media budget take all of this into consideration:
1. Social networks are free, thank goodness
2. Put aside time to learn how to use the social networks that you have chosen to put into your social media marketing strategy. This could be anywhere from 2 hours to 20 hours. Depends on how basic you want the social media platforms to be and what you intent to use them for. Client engagement, contests, email marketing integration, face for the business.
3. Put aside time for executing the technology. You set it up now you have to work it. Posts don’t happen on their own, tweets don’t just appear. The content needs to be researched, the photos found or created, the video created and uploaded, then it can be used on your platforms. Creating a library of resources whether it be content, photos or videos, graphics or thoughts takes time. Build those libraries first so posting is easier and faster. This can take about 20 hours for learning and 20 hours for library resource building if you are skilled at technology.
4. Social media needs to be maintained, at least three days a week with successful marketing programs maintained every day. Like others, comment on other posts to increase your credibility and visibility, create posts and send them, research useful followers and fans. It is a daily exercise if you wish to gain a large fan base, follower base or group. When you libraries are almost empty, they need to be built again.Consider this to be about an hour a day with three social media platforms.
5. Evaluate your success and work so you can build, and build and build. This can be done with programs or it can be done by you. Evaluation is critical to understanding if your strategies are working and if so why so you can build better strategies. Is your audience photo lovers, video lovers, what type of photos, what type of videos. Yes it hurts but this focus on your progress really pays off. This takes about 2 hours a month.
What is your time worth?
Now that you have an idea as to what a social media program entails, what is it worth to you? This is something that only you as a small business owner can determine. Many small businesses think, great free marketing but they forget to calculate how to operate a successful social media program that will bring them return on their investment. And it is important to know that a return on investment will not come in a month, it will take months to see that return but the return will come if you put the time in and calculate your social media presence and strategies.
Hints to make social media marketing easier
1. set aside 90 minutes a day and focus on learning the technology and creating your plan.
2. learn from others, there is strength in numbers wither offline or online
3. hire a part time person, this can take away some of the time spent developing or executing your program. Give this person specific tasks to perform,
4. read, read, read…..read, read, read.
5. use younger more tech savvy employees to help you or hire an intern that wants to get something on their resume. This position can be virtual so you don’t need to have space in house for an additional person.
The reality is, social media marketing is not for free. It is a great way to enhance your marketing program but it is not for free and it takes many hours to learn the programs, know the right programs to use, research the best way to handle your social media, define and execute your strategies and evaluate your success. Need help? That is what we do. To start, take the guessing out of Facebook and take the time to go through our 30 days to Facebook Freedom, a program that will help you to define your Facebook program, set it up and run it successfully. This will put you on the right path and build some encouragement to tackle other social media platforms.
Questions, let us know!
We all want more engagement and people talking about our brand. Before social media, word of mouth marketing was only tracked through business to customer interaction. It was difficult to really measure the impact of word of mouth marketing and truly know how much people were talking about your business and what they were saying.
Social media helps in determining what people are saying, who they are recommending your services to and can help you pinpoint the ambassadors of your product.
Engagement on social media networks is the holy grail that many small businesses are seeking. These tips will inspire your to look at your social media interactions and see if you are hitting all of the options for increased engagement.
Inspire your fans and followers to respond
People will talk if you provide them the opportunity to do so. Inspire people on social media, don’t just through information out there and think that they will respond. Inspiring others is tough and we all a need a little inspiration ourselves but if you plan out your inspiring tales to increase engagement you will be amazed at the responses.
The best way to inspire is through emotion. If your post on any of the networks is an emotional based message, you will touch the deepest part of us, our heart and our soul. as we have previously mentioned the addition of emotions in facebook posts will help to build your emotional social media voice. Take a moment and think of some emotionally driven opportunities that your business, destination or location can provide to your social media platforms.
Listen, listen, listen
Listen to what is being said on the social media networks so you can join in on the conversation not BUTT INTO the conversation. Lets use our cocktail party metaphor again on this idea. There is a group of you having a conversation at a party. An additional guest joins in and jsut blurts out some non related information in the group. Hmmmmm, odd…..and not very friendly. As you each look at each other, you ignore the comment and continue on with your conversation. Have you done this on social media…We would bet money that you have done this more than you think, unintentionally, but more than you think. Instead of just hanging out on your timeline, go to your home and listen to what others are talking about. If the conversation is about dogs, or pets, or cooking, or kids, comment on others posts and let them know you are listening. Once you have engaged in the conversation as a participant then you can switch the direction of the conversation.
Search for relevant conversations where you can add value
Searching can be done on almost all the social media networks. Search your destination, your business, location activities and news. Add value to other peoples posts and inspire the conversation! There is more value sometimes in adding to a conversation than there is in starting a conversation. Think about it.
When you share, so do others. When people see that you have influence they want to follow, like and become closer to you on social media. If you support and respond through listening, searching and sharing, guaranteed your engagement will increase three fold.Everyone likes smart, engaging, and knowledgeable people. Be this person on social media!
Share your guests business information too!
B2B support is important. When you support your guests businesses they will want to support your business. Find ways to interact with your guests business profiles so that you can support each other. If you are loyal through sharing of a customers business, they will be as loyal to yours.
The holy grail of social media – Engagement
Peer to peer networking takes time, earning a reputation in your industry also takes time. Social media is no exception and it takes time. Giving up is not the answer, moving forward and networking online differently or more intensely will build your engagement. If you think of engagement as networking, a tried and true tactic for business success when done authentically, you may find it easier to gain momentum in social media.
Plans define how close or far you can come to success. It is pretty safe to say that 8 times out of 10 if there is no plan there is little success. Now if you don’t want to be successful in your social media read no further. With the time, effort and money it takes to execute a social media strategy for your tourism business, one would think that success is at the front of the line.
How to prepare for a successful social media marketing program
Great, you are looking for success and you do want to have return on your investment, whether it be time, staff resources, effort or money. Success is planning and planning will bring you to success. Marketing is organic and in 2012 things are moving quickly so be prepared to keep up to date on changes. Bottom line is, strategy is strategy and even though there are new social media networks popping up all the time, yoru strategy needs to remain about the same. Oh, and you need to a have a strategy….really you do.
Be knowledgable, know the basics and understand the purpose of social media
Before you even put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, read. Read as much as you can about these three things:
1. What is social media – Understand what social media is, what defines a social media platform and what is a social media network.
2. What is the purpose of social media, what it is supposed to do? If you don’t know the role of social media in marketing, then how will you know what to do, what to expect and how to measure results. Social media has a define place in marketing like public relations does, advertising and media relations. Know the purpose and know what social media is supposed to deliver.
3. What results have people been having with social media and what results would you like to have with social media. Immediate viral communications is a hit or miss. Ongoing relationships, lead generation, exposure, brand awareness, now we are talking.
Understand Social Media strategies and tactics
If you want to be a doctor you need to understand the basics of the human body, the basic strategies to save a patient, the basics on how to take blood, read reports and treat your patients. Without this information, the steps that need to be taken to save a heart attack patient or diagnosis a cold or pneumonia, your patient success will be few and far between.
There are some basic social media marketing strategies that will lead to your success. Know them, understand them, work with them, test them.Learn how people are using social media strategies and how you can use them for your business. The stratgies are general and you will need to define for your tourism business the best way to adapt the strategies for you audience. But know them so you can work within the parameters of social media not on the sidelines.Share this information with your staff so they too can work with the strategies on and off line.
Review how you and your competitors are currently engaging in cyberspace
This does not have to be solely on social media. Remember you are about to start your plan, so you may not have your own social media networks yet. Are people writing reviews on third party sights about your tourism business? If so which ones. Are people talking about you on Twitter even though you are not on Twitter. If so what are they saying. Are guests posting videos of their vacation, your destination and your business. What are people saying about your competitors. What are you competitors doing on social media? Do some looking around and find out what people are saying about you, the social media they are using and what is happening with your competitors.
Move slow and steady when you build your plan
Your are 30% there! The three items that you have just researched are part of your plan! Now put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and start building your plan. take slow and steady and remember the devil is in the details. Fill out your basic strategies first, add your tactics and then fine tune the plan so anyone and everyone can understand it.
Remember to evaluate your great plan
A plan is only as good at the results. If you review your plan and did not meet your goals, it is not a bust it just means you need to go back to the drawing board. Were your expectations unrealistic, did you not have enough defined strategies to get you where you needed to go, did you define your market well enough or is your market different than what you thought it to be. Your goals need to be clear, evaluation tools put in place when you set up your plan and track your success!
Ron Mattodes used a great example of people trying to execute a military action without a plan. No one on this team knew how to hold a gun, no one knew what they were trying to accomplish, no one knew what their role was in this sting. The result was, a real live 3 stooges movie where there was just chaos but nothing was accomplished. No plan = no success. Plan = success
Pull out yoru plan and see if you have included all of these steps in your social media planning process. If you have not, do you feel you are getting the engagement that you deserve? Pick up the few pieces that you forgot to do in the beginning and plan again, but this time plan for success, not just a plan for plan sake.
Photo credit – sheknowstravel
This topic is coming up again and again. People are finding and posting great content but they are missing the Voice that goes with it. Writers have voices. Speak with any author, publisher, writer or marketing specialist. The voice needs to be defined when you are designing any writing. The success of a written piece of work is partly story but also partly voice. Social media is not that different. Defining the voice that you will use on social media is an important part of your strategy.
What is a social media voice?
How we speak and how we write can produce two totally different outcomes. When we are speaking on the phone or in person we have the added benefit of tone, arms, fingers, noises, inflection, laughter, eye movements, smiles to build the tone of our conversation. Writing makes communication and the creation of tone a lot harder. If you are comfortable with a computer and with your writing, this is easy for you. If you are not comfortable with one or the other of these, finding your voice could take a bit of practice and awareness.
A social media voice is the personality that will be read/hard/seen on your social media networks. Facebook has finally clued in that not everyone can create a great voice on social media so they have added emotion options to encourage tone, inflection and a better voice for those who are not comfortable with creating their voice on social media. This is help to improve the creation of emotion in your text but you can still work on creating your social media voice.
Define your voice so who ever is posting has a cue to follow
Whether you are posting or a staff member is posting, it is important to define what intended voice should be on social media. Do you want this voice to be hip, cool and young. Do you want this voice to be guiding, smooth, balanced and informative. Do you want this voice to be the class clown that makes everyone laugh at the drop of a hat. You decide what the voice should be and it should align with your business. If you want the voice to be you, define what makes you! No psychiatrists needed, just take a moment and define your voice.
In an article written by Men with Pens, finding your authentic voice was outlined with these simple thoughts:
- Think of adjectives that define your personality
- If you were a cocktail, which one would you be. Use this metaphor to define your style.
- Try on vastly different roles or personas, and write 200 words in each one
- Write a love letter and pour your heart out, what do you see when you re-read it.
- Read your work out loud. If you can’t stand the sound of your own voice, others won’t like it either.
Additionally Stephanie Schwab has put together this great example of different voice styles. The information is the same, but the voice is very different.
Write for yourself and for your audience
Don’t try and be Dylan Thomas, Edgar Allen Poe, Gabriel Garcia, George Elliot or Lewis Carroll, be yourself with all of your tone and nuances but capture you in your writing. We all have different sides to us and it is defining that part of ourselves or our business through ourselves that will captivate readers and social media followers.
When you define your voice and write down what that voice is, anyone can easily take over your social media and keep that voice. If you find that the voice is not working, you can tweek the voice and change what you thought it could be by reviewing your original definition. Play with it, have fun with it, but define it.