How to Communicate Through Social Media
Global business is much easier today than it was fifty years ago. With the advancement in technology from postal service to telefax to e-mail communications and now to instant messaging, video messaging, online conference calls and social media, we have an array of options to communicate with those who are not in the same room as us.
The same goes for how we communicate with our customers, clients and future / potential customers. There was a time where advertising was limited to print advertisings in the newspapers, magazines, and billboards. Along came radio advertising, television advertising and digital advertising on websites. Social media stepped it up a notch by introducing promoted posts alongside advertising of your websites, pages, events, apps or promotions.
With the introduction of social media, both in a personal and business world, comes a new way to speak. Without hearing someone’s voice, how they say their words or phrases, their tone, connotation, character, or innuendo, you have to interpret it in your own head.
This makes communicating on social media tricky and more like an art than a science.
Communicating on Social Media
There are a few rules of etiquette when it comes to posting and advertising on social media.
1. Sense of Humor
When it comes to your sense of humor, always remember that not everyone may be on the same wave length. This will involve knowing who your target market is really well. If you know they have a sense of humor, tone it down one notch. Inside jokes, or pop culture jokes, and especially sarcasm are extremely difficult to interpret online.
Although it may seem that grammar has gone by the wayside with the younger generations, it does not mean that your business should throw it out the window. Using full and complete sentences will help your readers understand the message that you are trying to convey. Paraphrasing can get lost unless someone understands the context. Context is key. If you have no context for your post, it will be confusing to your readers.
3. Use of Capital Letters
ALL CAPS IS ESSENTIALLY LIKE SCREAMING AT SOMEONE. Basically. I mean, read that sentence again exactly how you think I am saying it. Are you picturing me yelling? That’s pretty much the universal way to yell at someone online. Do not use all caps unless it is for one word, and only because you cannot format your post text on most social media platforms. (Google+ being an exception)
4. Be Conversational
Social media is exactly what it describes = social. This is where you are going to have conversations with your followers, readers and customers. You want it to be a two-way street so if someone comments on your post, then you should reply. If the comment does not warrant a response, then acknowledge it another way. Ask questions. Be real. Speak like you are talking directly to someone. Don’t attack. Be respectful. You are a human being, even if you are speaking on behalf of a business, and so are your readers. Even a business should have a personality.
5. Know You’re Audience
Social media is like going to a cocktail party, but online. If you are in the hospitality industry, but there happens to be a professor of nuclear physics at this cocktail party, and you start talking to him about hotels, but he starts talking back to you like a textbook, then you are going to clash. One of you is not going to want to listen to the other, and you’re going to lose your audience. This is why it is extremely important to know your audience! Once you know your audience, then talk to them the way they want to be spoken with. If you have a teen clothing line, you are not going to start talking about the type of fabric and stitching that has been used in the manufacturing of the clothes. You’re going to talk about the image, the vision and you want to use their language.
I’ve seen poor communication on social media too many times. It is a turnoff for the followers, and therefore you basically lose your audience. With some audiences, social media might be the only way to reach them so you would do yourself a disservice to turn them off. Remember these five points when sharing your posts and if you are having trouble with organizing your social media, consider downloading our Social Media Calendar tool for a streamlined integration to your marketing strategy.