One of the first things I had to figure out was what our voice was. We needed to clearly communicate our company’s personality, culture, and objectives to a world that has no prior knowledge of our existence. Our brand needed to be developed. This is a crucial step in the marketing process. The people who identify with you will be your market and as business people we all know that this will greatly influence the success or failure of a company.
For my first step I went about it like I was creating a personality profile. This company is… fill in the blank. Things like fun, informative, relaxed, and communicative made up the list of attributes our company personality would have. Once I made the list I had more to go on. If we’re funny then I can put out material that is sarcastic or that laughs at itself. If we’re communicative then I can tell people what is going on in that moment and respond promptly to questions. Each attribute told me something about how we were going to present ourselves to the world.
The next thing to do is to look at the attributes and put together a target market for your company. If you act this way then who will you be attracting to you? It is extremely important to make sure that the two things are in line with one another and that they continue to stay that way. If you establish that you will respond to an inquiry or comment within 24 hours that needs to continue to be what actually happens. When you make funny and sarcastic comments expect them back. For our purposes it is important that we are respectful and classy. Other businesses build up their following by saying whatever comes to them. Either of these is valid as long as it maintains the personality of the company. As soon as you lose your focus you will begin to lose your audience. Contrary to popular belief wanting to “be available to everyone” is not good business practice. It alienates the core of your customer base. Choose a path and stick with it. In the realm of longevity this will serve you best.
Any materials being shared need to have the company logos or trademark in the same style. The spelling, capitalization, punctuation, font, etc. has to be the same. As you share these materials you want everyone seeing them to identify immediately with you. Look at the logo below can you on first glance tell what company this belongs to?
Once you have a firm handle on these things I suggest looking at the two largest social media outlets available. In today’s online world those are Facebook and Twitter. Begin with a basic profile on each. Make sure that all information is correct and none of your links are broken. It’s a good idea to develop a habit of reviewing the information every few months because things can change and we don’t always remember to update every forum when they do. Also, each social media outlet has a different community and different way of functioning. People expect different things from Facebook than they do from Twitter. It will take a bit more of a time commitment but I strongly suggest that you do not link the two together. Share information separately and uniquely on each.
Finally take the time to look at who is engaging you. This goes back to your target market. Check out what their likes and interests. If you can see their Twitter feed be sure and scan through to see if you can get a sense of whom they are and what they are putting out there. The hope is that eventually you won’t need to keep such a close eye on everyone who is engaging you. The right people will show up and stick around.