Just how casual can you be when you’re interacting on behalf of your business with people on social media?
The answer is, it depends! The appropriate voice to use in your social media conversations depends on a few factors.
1) How formal is your business? Are you a suit-and-tie type of place? Or, do you proudly rock yoga pants and eat ice cream while you work from home? How casual or formal your business is will partly dictate the voice you’ll use online. Be as casual or as formal as feels authentic to you and your brand.
2) Where are you on Social Media? Each social media site has a slightly different “flavor” to it.
Twitter tends to be very casual, with its abbreviated and short communication format. It would sound out of place to tweet in a very formal voice.
Facebook is a middle ground. People want to see the more personal side of your business there – and it’s less casual than Twitter because you have more room for words in your status updates and page posts.
LinkedIn is the most “professional” of the social media sites, as it was created just for businesses and professionals to network with each other. People often use LinkedIn as an online home for their resume and professional expertise. So, it’s far more appropriate to use a more professional tone when communicating on LinkedIn – both in your invitations to connect, your inbox messages, and in your news feed. Think about the way you’d speak or interact in a job interview when engaging on LinkedIn – you can still be yourself, but just a slightly more buttoned-up version.
3) What kind of interaction is it? When you get a feel for your clients and prospects, and are interacting with them in a private chat, email exchange, or LinkedIn inbox message, often the tone gets more casual as the conversation evolves. But, if you’re interacting publicly (in a comment thread on a blog or on Facebook) – keep in mind that other eyes are on your words, including those of potential customers.
Follow these tips and you can be confident that the voice you’re using online is authentic and appropriate for the social media site(s) you’re on.
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