After meeting someone for the first time, have you ever said how great it is to finally put a face to the name? Just as those encounters create a personal relationship, we are going to help you put a “face” to your name on social media, by offering tips on how to build your brand online.
Social media is used by a staggering 2.8 billion people, and it’s never been a more ideal time to utilize it for building your brand. Here at mConnexions, our team likes to call social media an online referral system. It’s a powerful tool in our marketing toolbox – you can think of it as word-of-mouth references on steroids, since social media has such a massive reach. In fact, 83% of Americans have a social media account, with 62% of Americans getting their news from social media. That means that credible brands and media outlets are the sources for news and information on social media, and people trust these brands. If you do it right, you can become one of these trusted brands.
This blog will explore how to find your voice on social media, and how to write social media content that attracts leads for your business. Through the suggestions below, we’ve outlined a step-by-step guide on harnessing the power of social media to reach the right people online.
Tips for Building Your Brand
Finding Your Voice
Before we can start posting compelling, lead-generating content on social media, we have to know what our voice sounds like. Unless you’re a one-man or -woman business, this voice isn’t necessarily reflective of you individually, as the owner/CEO. Instead, you want a voice that reflects the personality and culture of your company as a whole. If there’s only one thing you take away from this blog, it’s that authenticity is key when it comes to the voice you have on social media, and the content you share.
Who Are You?
So how do you decide what you’d like your voice to sound like? Imagine your company as if they were a person. What would they look like? What would they talk like? How old would they be? We’ve all heard the saying “people hire people”, and the point of curating a consistent voice on social media is to help you personify your brand, so that potential customers will connect with you. Your voice on social media should be as recognizable as you are.
Who Is Your Audience?
Consider how your audience communicates — how old are they? Are they mostly men, or women? Families, or individuals? What sort of needs would they have that would prompt them to seek out your business? A thorough understanding of your audience will go a long way to helping you establish a voice that is relatable within your industry.
What Are Your Values?
Consider what values are important to you, as a brand or company. What elements of your company culture do you want to see reflected in your social media content?
Then consider what your customers want and expect you to sound like. You wouldn’t mind if a bar or clothing store had a casual voice on social media, but it would be a little jarring to see a bunch exclamation points or emojis from a funeral home or an urgent care. It’s important to make sure that the voice you use is one that your customers will connect with.
The Importance of Research
Take some time to research what other brands and businesses are doing on social media. Consider who your competitors are, and research what you see them doing on social media. Does their voice seem to be resonating based on their social media interactions? Does it seem appropriate, or is it inauthentic? You don’t only have to look at businesses who provide the same services, either. When thinking about your company culture, consider the culture of other companies that you might like to emulate – whether it’s a local brand, or an industry titan. Knowing what everyone else sounds like on social media will help you not only to figure out how you might like to sound, but also to understand what voice or approach might help set you apart from those around you
You can also spend some time thinking about what voice you don’t want to have. Sometimes it can be easier to figure out what we don’t want to do, or what effect we want to avoid. Understanding what you want to steer clear of can help you to hone in on the voice that will be right for your business.
Let’s use mConnexions as an example. We have a clear goal: provide comprehensive marketing services that will help businesses grow and thrive. We understand that not all individuals or businesses who are in need of our services have a marketing background. In fact, that’s why they come to us! We also know that we’re a firm that prides itself on establishing close relationships with our clients. Even with a basic understanding of our audience, and a clear goal in mind, we can easily say that’s it’s important for us to have a voice that is casual, but well-informed. We want to demonstrate our thought-leadership, while establishing connections with prospective clients that will gain their trust. All of these elements will help to inform the voice we curate across all of our social media platforms.
From Voice to Tone
Once you’ve considered all of these elements and walked through the steps we’ve just outlined, you should be left with a few words that describe your brand and/or your business. Just like a dating game, come up with the top words that define it! These can be words like adventurous, functional, innovative, etc, and should be whatever it is that will give you the voice that reflects your business, your goals, your culture, and your prospective audience. These words will influence the tone that your voice uses on social media. Once you understand your voice, you can pair it with a tone that will help drive you forward. Your tone might be casual, helpful, informative, inspiring, excitable, confident, but whatever it is, it should match your voice and your brand.
In last month’s webinar on content curation, we talked about the importance of establishing clearly-defined goals for your content marketing efforts: your goals will determine the message you share with your audience, and content is the vehicle for that message. In that same way, you must establish a consistent voice for your business, because your voice will determine your tone, and together, your tone & voice are the road to lead-generating content.
From there, you can start writing content that will resonate with your ultimate audience.
How to Write Social Media Content That Attracts Leads
Once you know how you want to sound on social media, it’s time to reflect that tone of voice through your social posts. It’s important to do this in a way that will help you attract new leads, while retaining current customers. It’s essential to write social media posts that are authentic, consistent, and reflect your brand, your business, and your voice. You have to create social media posts that inspire people to interact with that content, whether it be watching a video, reading an article, or clicking on a link. How you implement your chosen voice, and structure your social posts, will determine your success.
Tailor Your Posts
Remember the platform you’re writing for, and be sure to tailor your social media posts accordingly. Develop a list of industry-relevant hashtags to be including in your posts, to drive your content to the top of search results. Familiarity with each social media platform you use will also help you create content that generates leads. Too many hashtags can be distracting on Facebook, or appear unprofessional on LinkedIn. But use too few hashtags on Instagram, and you risk your content being overrun by more popular posts.
Also, don’t forget to keep an eye on the length of your social posts. Regardless of what platforms you use, social media is not the best place to post your latest blog in its entirety. Instead, keep your posts clear and concise, and hook your audience in with a strong leading sentence. Remember that the goal is to generate new interest in your business, continue to hold the interest of current followers, and to ultimately drive traffic back to your website, which is where you turn that interest into leads. With this at the forefront, think of each post as a tease to entice people to click on your link.
Don’t Alienate Your Audience
Avoid aggressive or repetitive sales pitches in your social posts. As we’ve said before, people hire people, and social media is where many of us go to connect with businesses and brands on a more personal level. No one wants to feel pitched to constantly, so keep your posts genuine and informative. Each post doesn’t have to wave the flag of your services; rather, by posting helpful, relevant content that is relatable and engaging with a consistent voice, prospective clients will gravitate to your brand on their own.
Another key element to remember when writing winning social media content is to use proper grammar, spell-check frequently, and avoid jargon and acronyms when possible. If you do need to use acronyms, spell them out the first time you use them in a post. One way to do a quick grammar and spell-check on your own work, while also making sure that your posts are clear, easy to read, and contain a human element, is to read your post out loud. Does it make sense? Is it clear? Does it sound the way it would if someone were speaking? Does it sound like the voice you’ve established?
Don’t forget that social media is just that – social! Let your digital space be a place where people come to have conversations about industry-relevant topics. Encourage discussion, sharing, and engagement, and create posts that people visiting your social media pages can interact with.
You don’t have to start from scratch while learning how to build your brand! We have many resources for you already available, including:
- 4 Instagram strategies every brand needs to know
- Top marketing trends for 2019
- 3 things to immediately improve your digital brand.
To stay in the mConnexions loop, hit subscribe, and we’ll email you once each month with our newest blogs and insights. We work constantly to develop strong information from our strategists, web developers, designers, and even our project manager, with tips for marketing technology to help get the job of building a better brand done efficiently. With these tips and suggestions, your journey to a strong brand is more achievable than ever.