Before you can engage with your followers on social media effectively, you should understand exactly who you are as a business, organisation or brand. As a team, it is important to discuss and agree some guidelines for who you are, what you say and how you say it.
Here are a few tips on how to help your staff understand the importance and relevance of social media personality and to start to develop your own.
What Are You – And What Are You Not?
One simple but powerful tool to help you agree on this consistent tone of voice is to try the ‘Always and Never’ exercise.
If your team is small, work as individuals, if you are a large group, work in pairs or small sub-groups. Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down the following phrase, filling in the blanks with your own words, tailoring the phrase to suit your company’s online personality.
[Your company] is ALWAYS ____________ and NEVER ____________
You can take several shots at it. There is no right or wrong answer in this simple test but each attempt will provoke discussion and raise enlightening issues which will help you discover who you are as a company and what you stand for. Here are a few examples of the kind of thing you may write.
Company X is always helpful and never judgemental
Company X is always knowledgeable and never self-righteous
Company X is always flexible and never unbending
Company X is always friendly and never unwelcoming
This is always an interesting but revealing discussion for groups who want to discover their social media identity.
If Company X was a celebrity, who would they be – and why?
I’m not suggesting that you adopt the personality of a celebrity as your own but the discussion that surrounds this interesting and often emotive question can unearth golden nuggets which will help shape and develop your social media personality.
Just For Grins.
As an additional light-hearted exercise you could also pose the question,
If our Company X was a cartoon character, which one would we be?
This can provide a welcome lift if your session is becoming a little stale and the ensuing debate can really help to break down barriers and get people talking.
What Are You Good At?
Get each person or group to write down three things which your company is particularly good at. This will vary enormously from one company to another. For example, if you are a clothing brand or retailer, it could be a wide variety of combinations like:
- Fit, Comfort and Style.
- Choice, Practicality, Affordability
- Lightweight, Washability, Packability
- Strength, Durability, Protection
What Are Your Customers Passionate About?
Get each person or group to write a short list of values and associated values. Things your customers value and are interested in. These don’t have to be directly related to your service or product, just the things your customers enjoy and are excited about.
Here are some examples of the variety of answers a travel company may give according to their target audience.
- Price, nightlife, music
- Comfort, fine-dining, style
- Photography, wildlife, nature
- Family, fun, adventure
Draw some Conclusions.
Spend some time distilling what you have discussed and agreed. Scribble down a few notes that sum up who you are, what you stand for and how you should be seen-and-heard on social media. Use these notes as guidelines for future social media communication.