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Finding your social media ‘voice’

Social media has changed the way that small businesses connect with customers.  Whether on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or any of the other social media platforms businesses can share news about their products and promotions, seek feedback on their service or product, raise their visibility, address complaints and share compliments.    It has allowed small businesses to compete on a level playing field with the largest of organizations–something that would previously be unheard of.  But before you jump in some basics on finding your business’s voice:

1.  Know your voice.  As part of your business’s start-up you probably had a mission statement: a clear statement of your company’s aim and your approach in meeting that goal.  Having a confident grasp of your company’s ‘personality’ will help you form your voice on your communication strategy whether through paid advertising or with social media.  Really take the time to think about how humorous/ serious you want to be; how formal or casual; how chatty/reserved you want to be.  Why did you start this company?  Your communication strategy should get that message across with all of the messages you send out.

2.  Keep your professional / personal on-line lives separate.  While your business should reflect your talents, your values and your  personality–remember to keep some separation between your business and your personal lives.  Both your customers and your friends/ family will appreciate it!

3.  Social media isn’t just marketing.  It is about opening up a new line of communication:  one that is fast, reactive and informative.  Share news and insights but also listen to your customers.

4.  Be persistent.  Don’t jump in and out of the fast lane of social media.  Schedule it into your daily routine.  Don’t get discouraged and keep on connecting.

5.  Let your old school methods of communicating help you connect in the new school world of social media.  Add the magic words “Follow us on Twitter” and “Find us on Facebook” to all of your print advertising, on your website and in your emails.

Be willing to do more of what works and less of what falls flat.  Think of what intrigues you when you follow others and learn as you go.  Your voice will evolve as you get more confident, and your customers will be glad you spoke up!