In a world where communicating to your audience has never been easier, faster or cheaper, the challenge shifts away from the practical hurdles of establishing a voice to the methodology behind having an effective voice. In minutes, any human being with a smartphone and a finger can sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr—and immediately be given a platform to broadcast his or her voice to the vast audiences all around the world. When everyone has access to a soapbox and megaphone, is it just about being taller and louder than those around you in order to have a voice?
Deciding what to post and how to post it can be overwhelming. Here are some key things that everyone should consider when getting that social media ball rolling—and to keep it rolling.
What you post is permanent. Yes, you can edit postings. Yes, you can go back and completely delete postings. But nothing is ever truly deleted from the internet, and it only takes one screenshot or cached page to have your bad decision immortalized. It is always safest to operate with the extra diligence of understanding you’re using a digital permanent marker, along with this next truth:
Everyone will read what you write. There are no secrets or whispers online, nor are there any perfectly secured locked doors. It is always best to assume that anything you write or post will be seen by everyone. If you ever have the thought, “I really hope so-and-so doesn’t see this,” that alone should be a giant red flag to not publish whatever it is you’re working on.
Be professional. For many people, changing hats between your personal social media and your company’s is done at the push of a button. The challenge here is to don your hat of professionalism just as quickly. Managing social media for a company or business is not for the quick tempered or immature, nor is it for those who speak before they think. Careful consideration and thoughtful intentionality are vital in maintaining a healthy social media voice.
You are whom you represent. A common mistake that people make is to think that they are simply the person who speaks on behalf of an organization. But this layer of distance promotes an unhealthy disconnect from the organization. When you post for RedBull, you are RedBull. When you post for a LeBron James, you are “King James.” It is imperative that you take full responsibility and accountability if you want to be a great communicator for whomever you represent.
Be creative and have fun. A Twitter feed is not a boardroom. Nor is your Instragram album simply your product catalog. As you understand and practice the previously mentioned tips, it’s important to remember to be human and approachable. Let your advertising speak about your product, and let your social media speak about you.