An article on 'Online Social Media Visibility For Brands' by our guest columnist Krithika Nelson, Founder, Shopo.inA couple of days back, I was catching up with a friend, a fellow startupper and ranting about all the issues we are facing on a daily basis. And then he goes:
“Hey! And by the way, we seriously need to buck up on our social media scene. You are doing a pretty good job with this on Shopo. Give me some expert advice na?”
Well, confessions first! I am not an expert on social media, pretty much a student in that regard. But with a quite a few experiment inferences and some interesting notes on the subject to share though ;) Here is one page out of that maybe ;)
Well, one thing we got right at Shopo.in with the Facebook and Twitter communications, was a learning that was taken from my media days! The STYLE SHEET.
Take a few news stories of recent times and look at how each news channel or paper has covered it and you might see that there is an underlying consistency in their tone, language and format to each of these stories. When there is a major crisis in the nation (Think Mumbai blasts for example) you would see that their usual “shows” are stopped and the whole day becomes updates on that crisis alone, all sounding LIVE and URGENT and EXCLUSIVE. And no, it was not necessarily a decision that was taken on the morning of the crisis. :)
Now, almost every newspaper, magazine and channel has a style sheet that they follow - which clearly tells them what to say and when, the language and tone they use for their main paper and their supplements and how exactly they react when there is a crisis situation. In short, they know exactly how to talk the talk and walk the walk, given any scenario. In many ways, social media is very similar! (Damn! These days news break on twitter before they make it to the channels and press…)
Tell me this. Do you have a style sheet to follow for your social media? I don’t mean a longish document with case and condition when I say style sheet. (It might be a good idea, but who has the time to do that really!) I am asking if you have a consistent tone and voice you have consciously decided to maintain across all communication platforms?
I am going to jump out of context for just a bit. Have you ever had a blind date? Or at least a blind meeting with a client you have only talked to on phone and never seen pictures of?
“Wow! You definitely don’t look like your voice!” - Sounds familiar?
When Harry Potter came out, how many of you were convinced with the casting of Sirius Snape? (If you were not, join the club…) Well, the reason is very simple! Psychologically, we imagine faces to voices! Same case with your communication in social media too :)
That’s precisely the reason why consistency in your communication is absolutely necessary. You can’t be the flirty girl next door one day and the boring grandpa the next! It confuses people.
Well, you surely know Red Bull … as much as I hate the drink, I love the way Red Bull has got their act together on the social media front! One quick look at their Facebook landing page to wall posts to their tweets, you will see the tone exactly the same as their TV Commercials! Laid back young dude, flirty and funny. You can almost see the guy’s face when you read their communication! And can totally relate to this guy sending girls over to your office to distribute free red bulls ;)
So here is the big question! What you want to be seen as? Flirty? Fun? Serious? Old? Young? Or Something else?
For Shopo, this was a ‘Fun person’ - the kinds you meet once and feel you have known them for a lifetime! We have consciously kept our Facebook and Twitter communication very personal for the same reason! (Do tell me if it works for you :P )
So, this is all I have to leave you with! Decide on the face you want attached to your brand name and talk the way that face will talk! As simple as that! This is not just social media but any communication you make to your end users. Trust me! It works :)