Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn–you have them not just for yourself, but also for your organization, too. It’s easy enough to chat with a Facebook friend about your new car or your kids, but it’s quite another thing to share part of your organization using a corporate Facebook page or Twitter account.
Sounding like a friendly human while representing an organization can be a challenge, especially in the 140-character spaces that sites like Twitter provide. It’s hard to sound human in a text box! Thankfully, there’s a solution. With just a few tweaks to your organization’s online corporate communications, you can quickly give your organization a more human-sounding voice.
Here are five steps to creating a more human-sounding organization online:
Type Like You Talk
Make sure to type like you talk. This is hard for many of us. After all, in school we learned how to write business letters from grammatically correct sentences.
That writing style worked fine for school, but it doesn’t work in social media! An easy way to fix this is to simply read, out loud, what you just typed. Does it sound like something you would actually say? If not, rewrite. The goal is to create a conversational writing style that connects with customers.
Social media tools like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest all share something in common. They’re all highly visual social media tools. They’re popular because they’re visual – people like to see stuff.
For a business, customers like to see your new products – not just read about them. They enjoy watching a video of that non-profit doing what they do, or see a product manager talk about the new product line. Combine this with the gear you already have in your pockets (your smartphone does video and photography quite well), and there’s nothing holding you back from visually sharing with customers.
Use Video to Connect
With video, no one wants to see your CEO dressed up in a business suit, reciting a memorized script about a new service. Instead, they want to see Jane, the customer service rep they just talked to, take a minute out of her day to share something helpful. A shortcut, a quick tip, or even a short product review becomes infinitely more powerful–and more engaging–when it’s shared as a video clip.
Video is a great way to quickly share useful information with customers. Share it in a conversational tone, and you will start connecting with customers via video.
Here’s a trick that you can use with practically ANY social media tool – visual or text-based. Simply ask a question. Ask, and people answer. Ask customers about the use of your products or services. Ask about likes and improvements customers would like to see.
The trick isn’t so much the asking, but what you plan to do with the answers. Here’s what I’d suggest – use those answers to do number 5!
Celebrate Customer Loyalty
Make sure to celebrate your customers! You can do this in many ways using social media tools. For example, why not thank people for commenting on your Facebook Page or for sharing their thoughts about a new service. If a customer buys one of your products and shares a photo, leave a comment on their photo!
Notice customers and interact with them as they use your products and services, and you’ll come across as being more human. Work on creating content with a conversational tone, be more visual, incorporate short videos, ask questions, and celebrate customers. Insert your personal touch into every interaction you have with customers in the process, and they will come back for more.
David Lee King is the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website management, digital experience, and social media, and has been published in many library-related journals. David was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for 2008. His newest book, Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections, was published in September. David writes the Outside/In column in American Libraries Magazine with Michael Porter, and maintains a blog at http://www.davidleeking.com.
Image by markheybo via Creative Commons