The way you shape your words with social media make a big difference in how customers and strangers react to your business. We all strive to have lots of followers on Facebook and Twitter, but how do we get to that point? The answer isn’t just content—it’s authenticity. Authenticity is the greatest asset you can have, as it directly affects trust and attention. If your customers know you act in a way that seems genuinely helpful, and that you care, they will be more likely to take action when you sell to them.
Many small businesses hear this and immediately think, “Sure, this all sounds great, how do I become recognized as an authentic thought leader in the quickest time possible?” The truth is, building authenticity isn’t just a magical flick of the switch where customers instantly give you the time of day! Strong customer connections are built over a period of time, and require adapting your voice to the audience you want to reach. For example:[box color=”green”]If the social media landscape is a neighborhood, think of yourself as the new kid that just moved in. You want to make friends, but nobody knows you yet, or what you’re like. Does this mean everyone is immediately going to trust what you have to say and connect with you? You’re on their turf now. Earn your way by proving your trust and value, all of which happens gradually.[/box]
Your brand voice is your lifeline
What makes people follow the brands or businesses they do on social media sites? It is their unique voice, their communication that strives to be helpful, informative, entertaining, or even playful. The way you engage others follows a similar formula: your language should fit your objectives and values, while modifying slightly to adopt a tone that keeps conversation going. Without your voice, you’re just another business in a sea of competitors, vying for the ever shrinking attention of everyone with a social media account.
Pay attention to how others react to your voice, and don’t be afraid to tweak it. Ultimately, you want your personality to shine through, and it won’t just happen if you take on the same monotonous tone day in and day out. Study your competition, and see how others in your industry are doing it. Are they successful, and if so, what approach are they taking? Can you find a way to build upon their mistakes and victories, and increase your authenticity?