Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Social Media Executive Primer Part 4

Define Your Voice

Once you’ve established your purpose, the next step is to define your voice.

Below are the most effective types of voices to use. Begin by taking a subjective look at your company’s persona. How do you currently communicate to your customers. Are you light and endearing? Corporate and slightly pretentious? Steadfast and reliable? Choose the personality that best fits your company culture.

Whichever voice you choose, stick with it; don’t change voices mid-stream. Don’t change what makes you – you. This will only confuse your readers. Consistency is key, no matter which voice you adopt.

Reactionary
Nothing drives traffic like a good rant. One look at reality TV and you see those with the loudest voices tend to have the highest ratings. But if you use this method, don’t just scream about the problem. Be prepared to provide a solution. This method taps into common frustrations your target market is likely having with other solutions, or the challenges with a lack of any solution. The communication sequence is usually (1) connect with the problem (2) acknowledge the pain (3) provide empathy (4) reiterate what will happen if nothing is done (5) offer your solution.

Exclusivity
Find something that few people are offering solutions for. Or offer unique solutions to common problems.
Take an inventory of your IP and see where you can share those things that make you unique. This method works best if you are offering something truly scarce. Specific niches where you’ve created a custom solution for example. Play up the fact that your content is extremely valuable, that it is not something shared to many or made public. Make your audience feel like they’ve hit the jackpot with your content.

Thought Leadership
Much of today’s social media revolves around thought leadership. It’s the best type of conversation to have with anyone just beginning their buyer journey. This combined with Exclusivity provides a powerful positioning statement. While some people balk at the idea of divulging their inner most secrets, today’s best webinars provide a good roadmap of how to provide thought leadership that encourages follow up dialog. The main goal is to prove your credibility. The more segmented you can make your communications the better. Your content must appear at the right time to the right person with the right message. General Thought Leadership will only get you so far and usually won’t get your name on a short list. Include both strategic and tactical communications in your thought leadership mix.

Reliability
Seth Godin delivers a blog every single day, 7 days a week, rain or shine. Whether you choose to add content once a day, once a week or once a month, once you commit to a schedule, stick to it. Don’t deviate, don’t change the pattern. Consistency is key. Frequency is usually driven by bandwidth. If your contributors have the time to contribute MEANINGFUL dialog each day, great. Deliver whatever you can realistically consistently manage. Don’t make the mistake of delivering daily just to deliver daily. Your content must always be meaningful, useful and worth the time and effort of your readers.
 
Agreement
Politicians are masters at getting agreement. Identifying and acknowledging a problem lends itself to getting buy-in and agreement with your particular solution. The more relevant you can articulate the exact problem, the more agreement you are likely to get. This ties into a Reactionary voice very well. By virtue of you acknowledging the frustration of the problem you are discussing, agreement comes much more naturally. But don’t try and gain agreement on the obvious. Prove that you really have gone through the same specific ordeals your readers have.


Share the Love
Making friends is often a good way to engage in Social Media. Be prepared to do something for someone ‘just because’. Be genuine and never feign your intentions. Expect nothing in return. This might be a good method of communicating to current customers. Whether up selling, cross-selling or working towards subscription renewals, this type of communication is all about serving others. Almost philanthropic. The end result – creating not just a loyal customer but raving fans.
 
Part 1-Social Media: An Executive Primer
Part 2-Define Your Strategy
Part 3-Define Your Purpose
Part 4-Define Your Voice
Part 5-Audience Relationships
Part 6-How to Start
Part 7-Measuring Success
Part 8-Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Social Media Marketing Best Practices

Steve Kellogg

-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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