How to Communicate Powerfully through Social Media
Social media is an area of business that confuses people. The rules are not clear and people often hesitate out of concern for doing or saying the wrong thing.
When it comes to communication on social media three questions in particular tend to be asked:
- What to say,
- When to say it, and
- How to say it powerfully!
In this article let me focus on the last of those questions.
As with many things there are two sides to the answer. On the one hand there is the issue of quantity – how do you get your message out to as many of your prospects as possible and on the other hand how do you increase the message quality? After all increasing both of those would make for powerful communication.
Let’s look at one tip for quantity and three for quality:
Use Multiple Outlets
Think about traditional advertising – if a studio wants to advertise a new movie for example then they will have adverts in the newspapers, on the sides of buses and bus shelters, on the walls of subways and of course on television. In other words they make sure that their message is going out via multiple outlets which then ensures it hits as large a percentage of its target audience as possible.
You should do the same with social media – if for example you were launching a new product you would want to share that news through multiple social media outlets such as on your corporate Facebook page, mentioning it in LinkedIn status updates, tweeting the story etc
The best way to do this consistently is to have a publishing plan. Simply decide ahead of time what happens when you release a particular type of news or story.
For example at Edenchanges once we post a new blog (every day Mon – Thurs and some Fridays) – it goes onto our Facebook page, gets tweeted out and goes to LinkedIn as a status update which is then shared with appropriate groups.
That’s our standard process for every new blog so for us the blog isn’t posted until we have completed all those steps. This ensures that our articles are consistently going out to the multiple locations we want them to.
Going forward because different sites do better for different type of medium we will shortly be sharing specifically the photographs, such as the funny cats above, in our Facebook gallery and on Pinterest.
So whilst we have a set procedure we keep an eye out for new sites to post on, old sites with new features and generally new ways to share our information with our audience. The wider we spread it the more people will see it.
Fresh and Fun
You can pretty much guarantee that what ever you write about or share with the world at large someone else, one of your competitors most likely, will also be talking about the same topic. What you can do however is bring a unique voice and take on the subject and where appropriate introduce a bit of fun into the proceedings.
I really didn’t need to have comedy cats to headline this article but it keeps the entertaining and slightly quirky tone that I hope I have managed to set in the Edenchanges blog articles. And if it makes you laugh then all the better!
So look at your topic and consider how you can present it in a fresh and fun way.
Consistency of Message
Whatever your size of company it is important that people are saying the same thing or at least similar things about the company, it’s services and it’s aims etc. I would recommend guidelines are drawn up by a steering group consisting of marketing, HR, sales and senior management. Note those are guidelines not rules. Social media by it’s fluid nature requires a degree of flexibility. That flexibility should spring from, (and I sound like David Cameron here!) a road map of agreed guidelines.
The Human Touch - LinkedIn connections – numbers or people?
To make your social media powerful make it personal. It takes longer I grant you but it truly is a question of quality over quantity. There are two key moment when you have a choice about taking time to making your communications more personal – first when someone responds to you on social media, whether a comment a question or a ‘like’ it is powerful to reply to their response!
Simple as that – reply!
It might seem the most obvious thing in the world but in fact it is a lot rarer than you think. People get wrapped up in sending messages out that they forget that the real power of the communication comes when you are listening!
“We are stronger when we listen, and smarter when we share.”
And what is vital here is that people won’t realise you’ve seen their response unless you in turn respond! When you reply it shows appreciation for the other person’s time and interest and can often lead to rewarding conversations and relationships.
The second moment when you can personalise your message is when you are sending direct messages to individuals. Whether it’s an invitation on LinkedIn a direct tweet or other means of one to one messaging then personalise it to some degree. Make reference to something that you have learnt about the other person from their social media footprint.
Yes this makes it slower and in some situations it is not practical but when you have the choice take the extra time its a great way to make your message more powerful. It doesn’t take much – even a single line at the start can make all the difference.
There is a lot more I could say about this topic so I will return to it in future articles. For now I trust the above will start you off making your social media communication more powerful! (And I hope the cats made you chuckle!)
Before I go I would like to mention the new phone coaching service from Edenchanges – from £50 hour we will provide personalised coaching for you via skype or phone. Whether you want further advice on social media or another aspect of business we would be delighted to hear from you and discuss how we can help you.
Until next time; be successful!
Photo from Daisyree Bakker and used with thanks!
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