The Green Sheet Online Edition
May 14, 2012 • Issue 12:05:01
The art of social media speak
Following a company's Twitter feed can be like reading a grocery list. A headline and a link to a press release don't cut it in the Twitterverse, where clever self-promotion (or attempts at such) have a better chance of getting noticed. The same thing applies to a corporate Facebook page; links to press releases don't make for compelling content.
On the other hand, press releases fit within the framework of company websites, and blogs often link to them. It just points to the reality of social media: one voice does not fit all. The secret to developing separate voices for each social media vehicle is to understand how users of each media communicate. Twitter users have 140 characters per tweet to share information. So, instead of posting a press release title, corporate tweeters can devote those 140 characters to a nugget of choice knowledge contained in the press release that would intrigue tweeters to click on the link.
Learn the lingo
Facebook's posting parameters are not as restrictive as Twitter's. However, Facebook involves micro communities of friends and family members. For example, it seems much more effective if a mom in Indiana posts on her Facebook page how much she enjoyed a company's new payment app than if that same app is promoted on the company's own Facebook page. By virtual word of mouth, the mom in Indiana's post will circulate through her circle of friends and their circles of friends while the company's own Facebook post will likely generate no activity whatsoever.
Blogs are yet another animal. Some blogs have a newsy feel; others take a relaxed, casual approach. It all depends on a given blog's intended readership. And what about a site like Pinterest, where images trump words? Photos from a successful charity event where a company's POS terminals were used to process donations may have greater impact than a standard promotional image of the POS device under a corporate logo.
The truth is social media has deconstructed the top-down corporate communication model. Today, it's all about talking to consumers in their own unique languages. It's up to you to learn how to speak them.
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