Using One Voice on Many Social Media Platforms

You likely know the importance of maintaining consistency with your brand. You’ve designed a logo; you live within a color scheme; you have a trademark phrase, etc. You’ve probably even incorporated many of those elements into your social media sites.

But what about your brand’s personality?  Do you know how you’re perceived online? You should. It’s just as important as having a good logo.

Find your voice

Let’s take Outback Steakhouse as an example. The restaurant has done an excellent job of marketing itself. Its Land-Down-Under persona permeates through all layers of its advertising. It even filters down to its Twitter account. “Help your mates unwrap a steak dinner for the holidays,” reads a recent tweet.

Right about now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Yeah that’s great, but they have multi-million dollar ad campaigns and people whose entire jobs are to sit around and dream this stuff up.” True. I’ll give you that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it, too.

Be yourself: It might not be a larger-than-life persona like Outback, but your brand can easily adopt its own voice online. If you don’t know what your brand’s personality is, start asking yourself questions. Are we casual or formal? Are we intellectual or goofy? Are we prim and proper or do we go with the flow? Are we the type that would say “gonna” or is “going to” more our style?

By doing this, you’ll ensure your online personality reflects your company’s offline persona. They should be one in the same.

All together now

Establishing a voice is only half the battle. Once you have it, you have to ensure it’s consistent. That holds true especially if you have multiple people updating your profiles or you’ve outsourced your social media efforts.

HERE’S HOW: A good place to start is to make sure everyone involved in your social media efforts is on the same page. You need a plan. A style guide, if you will. Not so much a set of rules, but rather some guidelines. Some do’s and don’ts.

It can include key words and phrases that should be used regularly, as well as guidelines for tone and use of images. Such a guide could never address every situation that pops up, but it will help steer the team in the right direction on a daily basis.

Everything in one place

Even if everyone is on the same page, your many platforms aren’t. But they can be. Having everything in one place, it’s easier to keep track of and manage how you’re portraying your brand on different platforms.

THE RIGHT FIT: A new crop of social media management tools pop up daily, and each brings a new way to interface with multiple platforms. Some allow you to schedule tweets and updates. Some allow for analytics. Some compile messages from multiple platforms into one dashboard.

I can throw out a few names – Seesmic, Hootsuite, GroupTweet and Sprout Social – but ultimately you’ll need to do some research and see what works best for your needs.

A final thought

Each platform attracts a different audience, meaning you need to adjust your voice for each. But be careful that you use only nuances of the same personality. Having wildly different brand personalities on different platforms could easily lead to distrust among users.

In essence, don’t be something you’re not. Find out the real personality of your brand and live up to it online. Don’t try to force yourself into a box that doesn’t fit. You’ll find much more success going with your own flow.

Thanks for reading,

-Drew Larison