Tone of Voice – the cornerstone of a good social media marketing plan

Nice Supercreatives news this week with a nomination for a Social Buzz award at The Royal Mint.

If there’s one thing that really helped get The Royal Mint up to speed…it was thinking about Tone of Voice up-front before putting a single word on Facebook or Twitter. It sounds obvious, but the most important aspect of any social media campaign is how you sound…so spend some time on it and make sure you get the senior management to BUY IN to it. If they’re unconvinced you are setting yourself up for problems in the future.

Once that’s done, you can concentrate on the messaging, the content, the measures and all the other stuff that makes up the day-to-day work of a social media marketer. It should be fun!

FIRST

Reduce your risk – hire an expert.

The best shortcut to getting it right is to hire someone with experience of doing it before. It’s the kind of thing you learn from trial and error, and unfortunately that often means it presents a risk that is unacceptable to a company that relies on the trust of its customers. If you can accept the risk, by all means follow the next steps yourself, if not get in touch and we can help.

SECOND

Start with what you know.

If you already have some level of engagement with your customers – that’s the place to start for content and messaging ideas. This might not be through social media, it could be via email, from a contact form, a discussion about your company on a forum or blog, or through a survey – wherever there is interaction…start there.

THIRD

Positive sentiment is nice, but it’s not always the best place to start.

It’s tempting to ignore the bad stuff and start with the good, but if you’re genuinely committing to undertaking long-term relationship marketing with your customers, fix the broken things first, then build the positives. If you can turn around a negative perception or make an unhappy customer happy, you’re winning!

FOURTH

Give them what they want…to a point.

Your customers should dictate the way your company operates, but they should not dictate its direction. In terms of image and reputation, you need to be a leader who listens, not a listener who follows. Of course, in practice, doing a bit of both will enable you to stay ahead of the game!

FIFTH

Think of social media as online PR and you’re halfway to getting it right.

Think of it as online PR with added honesty and you’re there! You have to be straightforward, you can’t tell fibs, and you need to treat your fans and followers with respect if you want to maintain a relationship with them for the long term.

SIXTH

The real return on investment can’t be measured in cash.

This is an often-cited ‘fact’ about social media that some people throw out in answer to any sales related question, but it’s one of the ones that merits the most consideration. You can go to town with your analytics, with attribution modeling, with tracking codes and offer codes and impression versus action tracking…but when it comes down to the wire you need to understand WHY it’s worth having a relationship with your customers that extends beyond the old ‘interrupt and repeat’ model of marketing. If you’re not getting value out of it beyond the transactional, you need to look at why.

I think that’s the best overview I can give. Do you have anything to add? Leave your comments below and let’s debate!

Author: Jim O

Hi I'm Jim and I run SuperCreatives which is basically me tapping at a keyboard and sometimes talking to people and working on stuff that helps people sell, communicate or promote things online. If you need to sell, communicate or promote things online...get in touch!

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