Brand and Social Media Voice
As a southern lady from the Deep South working in marketing, there have been a few things that haven’t quite “translated” to me while working with social media. Since IMA services clients from further up North (and all over the world), I’ve noticed a few obvious differences in the way we interact down south and the normal social graces of the North. Here are some tips I’ve picked up that I want to share with you so you don’t have to learn things the hard way!
This seems to be the most obvious one, yet not the most understood. People do not seem to grasp that “y’all” and “you all” are in fact 2 separate phrases that have the same meaning. This can be the case for many words and phrases across the country!
When targeting your social media posts to specific regions outside your current location, remember to know your audience. If you are marketing for a company whose audience is based in the Midwest (for example, the Dakotas), remember that you are targeting a “pop” state, versus “Coke” or “Soda” state.
You have to do research to understand cultural speech and social mannerisms. A great way to understand the way people speak is to check out this great Dialect Map the NC State University. This Business Insider article has also helped me a lot. Being able to use unfamiliar words with certainty is a must in marketing. Learn your phrases so you don’t make the mistake I made for one of our clients; addressing a Northern Facebook audience as “y’all” tends to get more questions than engagement.
Yes, this is different than Speech!
Have you ever noticed that certain companies have their own quirky tone in their social media conversations? That can be one of the strangest tactics to decide upon when discussing your social media strategy.
Do you have the whimsical, personal touch with your social media like Target?
Finally putting the bug spray away is cause for celebration.
— Target (@Target) August 28, 2013Are you informative and knowledge driven like Sprout Social?
What about inspirational and uplifting like Nike?
Tailor outgoing messages to fit your audience by reviewing demographic data in your reports. #SproutTip— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) September 17, 2013
Tell the voice that tells you 'stop', to stop. Keep moving.— Nike (@Nike) September 10, 2013
This is something that you and your team has to decide upon. A millennial (like myself) may want to be funny and whimsical, but may forget about the branding standards of the company. Your entire team should understand and acknowledge the tone. What is your client’s voice? Having a specific voice will let your community know what to expect from you when they interact or “engage” with you. I have learned that the only way to understand what the tone of the company needs to be is to listen to the tone of its customers. Discover their problems and concerns but also listen or watch for the tone of their voice or post. Speak their language on their terms.
3. Target Your Sharing
After you have decided upon your tone and your personality for the company, the real fun begins! Now you can start targeting like-minded businesses that have similar personalities. Here at IMA we might choose to tweet at Hubspot about a great blog post, or we might share a Facebook article from Apple about what great design is really about. In the end, it’s all about being personal and keeping the human aspect of the company alive. Consumers want you to be reachable and grounded, even if the company is a 1000+ employee development, and they want to reach you on their level. Be culturally relevant & conversational, and your social media will be slicker than slicker than pig snot on a radiator! (Just a Southern saying? My bad…)
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