First up, we wanted to mention the newest emojis for iOS 13.2. We like keeping track of little things like this because emojis are an increasingly important tool for communication, even if they aren’t used very frequently in the professional world (yet). This particular new wave of emojis includes stickers that represent people with disabilities, a lot more work and task-oriented stickers, and, of course, waffles!
It’s also been a good time for social media growth. LinkedIn has now officially reached 660 million members, and has reiterated its commitment to focusing on those users, the services they want, and the privacy of their data. We really like the latest redesigns that LinkedIn has gone through, and this is great news for the professional network.
Also, while we don’t mention it very often, Pinterest is also having a new day in the sun. The photo-posting network, famous for its recipes and décor ideas (as well as plenty of small business portfolios), is up to 322 million monthly active users, and revenue is up a whopping 47% year over year. Pretty good for a social network that appeared to be past its prime. The secret, as it often is, is international growth – and it will be very interesting to see where Pinterest goes from here and how it changes in the future.
Main Topic: Why Social Media Consistency is So Important!
We’re talking about consistency today, and we have several important “Whats” and Hows” to cover. Listen to the full podcast to get details on any parts that you may want to learn more about, but here’s a summary to fill you in. A lot of times our clients admit that their social media work is inconsistent without the right direction or time investment. That’s why one of the steps of our 9-step digital strategy program focuses on developing social consistency – and why we’re talking about it!
Social Consistency Whats – How to Start
1. Establish Your Brand Voice
Consistency means have the same voice across all your content. The tone, the words you use, the types of images you share, the questions you answer, the things you promise – all of this should be the same, no matter what the content is. The goal is to have your brand sound like itself – developing a unique voice that’s the same on emails, website landing pages, Facebook posts, and quick tweets.
If you’ve done customer service training at your business, you may have completed a similar “brand voice” process with how employees speak to customers – this is similar, but applied to all online content, both permanent and more temporary. We can help find a brand voice to achieve social consistency, but it’s absolutely a process that must be internalized by each brand. It often involves creating guides for the right tone and words that teams should be using, and focusing social media tasks on experienced workers who know how to represent the brand voice.
2. Invite Commentary Instead of Chest Thumping
When many companies start out on social media, they’re too “loud” to really develop a voice of their own. All their content is shouting “Buy this!” or “Click on this!” It’s a bad advertising habit that works even worse online. Don’t get us wrong, consistent social messaging is important. But these messages need to be social…friendly and willing to create a conversation instead of shouting.
3. Be Relevant
Be relevant to your clients and your industry. Learn to talk about things that matter to them, from their perspective. This may require some changes in how you keep up with news and trends, as well as a hard look at what news your brand actually cares about!
4. Don’t Aim for Consistency, Aim for Cohesion
It’s okay to tweak your brand voice platform by platform, too! Some companies find it easier to modulate how they post based on where they’re at. Twitter may be a better place for snarky humor that you wouldn’t use in an email. LinkedIn may be a better place for offering more professional discussion with longer content. And so on.
5. Know Your Audience
Creating a consistent brand voice also means paying attention to your audience, noting what they respond to and how they prefer to be talked to. This isn’t just about finding the right communication channels, but also about
Social Consistency Hows – How to Implement
1. Use the Same Version of Your Logo Everywhere
In past episodes we’ve discussed the process of updating your logo if necessary and making sure it’s ready for online use. But wherever you land on a logo, make sure you use the same logo everywhere, every time. The same goes for any important brand title or saying.
2. Assign a Person or Team for Social Content
As we mentioned, a dedicated person or small team makes it much, much easier to guarantee a brand voice and ensure that content feels consistent no matter what platform it’s on. Of course, that person/team needs to have an in-depth understanding of social consistency!
3. Develop the Right Processes
Social media processes for creating and posting new content, looking for new ideas, etc., will help businesses get into all the right habits for developing a strong voice.
4. Assign Someone to Approve Content
When starting out, or for larger teams, it’s helpful if one of your processes is to have someone approve content so they can check it for tone and voice.
5. Set Guidelines for Tone and Voice
Speaking of tone and voice, don’t be afraid to create some guidelines! Summarize what you’ve learned about your brand voice and make it official so that everyone has someplace to turn to if they need help.
6. Keep Each Post Brand-Focused
Every post should have a purpose, and be created in a way that furthers the brand. This will help you avoid common posting mistakes.
7. Don’t Rely Too Much on Automation
Automation is nice for scheduling posts and quickly gathering information. However, you shouldn’t be using automation tools to create the content itself.
8. Make a Checklist If Necessary
When training employees about consistency and brand voice, a checklist to use for every post can be very effective! Create this using the guidelines you have developed.
Remember, we always love to hear from you about your experiences or questions, so please don’t hesitate to contact us @21handshake to talk about social consistency, finding your company voice, and any similar stories. You can sign up for our free webinar to explore the 9 steps of a complete digital strategy at any time – and get some bonus tips, too!
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