A couple of weeks ago I had dinner with my wonderful publisher, Jane Graf and her second in command,Jean Riescher Westcott, who is also a wonderful publisher of several books besides her full time position. Both of these ladies are terrific!
I asked Jean to be my guest blogger because her writing is amazing and her two books that she has written with her husband, Sean–" Digitally Daunted: The Consumer’s Guide to Taking Control of the Technology in Your Life and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Electronics 101 take a complex subject and makes it simple to understand. This is a true art.
Jean also write on technology topics for her blog, DigitallyDaunted.com and for variou on line outlets.
I encourage you to look at her website listed at the bottom of this post and finding out more and ordering her books.
We all want to be able to 'Develop Our Social Media Voice' and Jean clearly lays out what we need to do:
The ability to use social media with confidence can be one of the most important new skill to add to your career toolbox. Everyone from the young graduate starting their job search to the CEO of a large company benefits from being able to connect and communicate with colleagues, the media, customers, investors, thought leaders and potential employers in the new gathering places like Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. It can be difficult to craft the style of communication that fits your personal and corporate brand. One way to think of that style is to consider it your voice. Which voice should you use in these new public squares.
To find your social media voice, follow these steps towards effective engagement:
- Know yourself. You would think this would be the easiest step, of course you know who you are, but many individuals and organizations could benefit from a better understanding of how they are seen by others and how they wish to be seen. Do you want to present a cautious, professional image that keeps the conversation formal in keeping with the industry you work in? Are you more casual and friendly and want to appear as a friendly partner with your audience? Do you have the trust of the public or do you need to improve your trustworthiness. You don’t want to have your social media efforts clash with your brand’s other communications and we all benefit from fresh self-reflection.
- Know your role. It might make sense to have separate identities for separate functions. Technical information might not be relevant for your recruiting audience or sales data for customer service. Connecting with fellow sports fans is probably not the goal of your professional social media voice nor is sharing the latest pop culture news. Your social media presence might have a separate account for these separate roles but that doesn’t mean that you need to keep your more professional accounts stripped of any personality. Be a real person, but keep the conversation relevant for those who you are connected.
- Know your crowd. When addressing a crowd, writing a story or crafting an ad, the starting point should be knowing the audience. With social media the audience is limitless but there are key differences between online and offline communication. There are expectations that you will respond and that your will respond faster than even with email communication. Value people’s time by sharing relevant information that make you a welcome part of their experience. If you only self-promote, without valuing their attention, people on social media will tune you out like white noise.
- Know your message. Before you tweet, post or share, make sure that you understand that this message can be shared far and wide and that it will live in search engines for a long time. Social media is also quick to share both negative and positive responses, so you need to keep things positive and avoid controversy unless you are trying to take a stand that you are willing to defend in the larger community. Share information about changes in your field, accomplishments of individuals and news direct from the source (you!).
- Know how to adapt. Learn from missteps. If you keep the conversation moving forward when you do make a wrong move, or jump into the social media space in response to situations that arise offline to quickly address concerns, the public will appreciate that you are listening to their concerns.
Jean Riescher Westcott writes on technology topics for her blog, DigitallyDaunted.com and for various online outlets. She is the co-author of two books with her husband Sean Westcott: Digitally Daunted: The Consumer’s Guide to Taking Control of the Technology in Your Life and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Electronics 101.
Jean Riescher Westcott