As she walked through the vibrant colors of the plants and leaves that surrounded her, she heard a song off in the distance – a song of vowels followed by a trail of smoke. Her curiosity led her closer to the scene of a caterpillar smoking hookah on top of a mushroom. This was not a familiar sight to her, but she was in Wonderland after all. The caterpillar, confused and startled, asked her, “O R U – Who are you?”
The question “Who are you?” is complicated at any stage and any scenario in life such as, a quarter life crisis or if you’re at a family gathering and you’re being probed about what’s next for you. That’s a lot to think about so in this post, we’re just going to focus on who you are on social media and how to find your voice.
You might be thinking, yeah but don’t I just share, comment, and act like myself? Yes, but how do you get there in an authentic way? If you’re in the business of social like I am then you have to figure out how to stand out from everyone else doing the same thing – this includes brands and people. I’ve been reading “Fascinate” by Sally Hogshead and it is indeed a fascinating read! The book dives into the 7 languages of Fascination: Innovative, Passion, Power, Prestige, Trust, Mystique, and Alert and shares examples of brands like Jägermeister and Beyoncé fascinate the world. It makes you think about the language you should use to describe yourself and how that language can help you stand out from the noise. It’s worth a read if you want to become a “fascinating brand.”
As my awesome friend Michael Brito says: “When it comes to social, you have to bring your whole self.” This includes your company, your passions, your interests and don’t forget your goofy side!
Bringing your whole self to social begins with filling out your profiles on social media. For Twitter, you have 160 characters to tell your story, include a picture, background and color scheme. For LinkedIn, you have the same picture options plus 120 characters in your headline to draw someone in. You also have 2,000 characters to inform and inspire the individuals that come to your page and tell them why they should choose you – to work with or buy from.
Now, let’s find your voice!
“Finding one’s voice – or creating a narrative voice that has the power to carry your story – is the hardest part.” — Danielle Trussoni
Are you hip, playful, educational, sophisticated, fun, inspirational, sarcastic?
There’s no right or wrong answer, but this is an important question. The language, content, and tone you choose to use on social should reflect whom you are as a person, while also reflecting the brand that you’re a part of. When I first starting thinking about my brand and how I wanted to be represented, I considered the 3 C’s:
· Culture – What do you stand for? What do you talk about? What makes you stand out?
· Community – What are the problems and concerns of your audience? If you listen to the way your audience talks, you can see how they voice their feelings and opinions.
· Conversation – What do you bring to social media? Always speak with personality and authenticity.
As you start answering these questions about yourself, the next step is understanding your company’s brand. To find that out, you can talk to your marketing team and ask them what their voice is, how they engage with their audience, and how they stand out from the competition. It’s also important to remember that as an employee you represent the brand, so there are a few other things to think about:
· Who do you want to reach?
· Who wants to hear from you?
· What does your brand believe in and stand up for?
· Why is your company important and why does it matter?
Once you start identifying whom you want to be on social, you can start posting and engaging with your audience! But there are some important things to keep in mind – Now that you’re on social, there’s an expectation to communicate faster and to be direct and personal. And as you learn, engage and evolve in your career, your voice will develop overtime – Who are you right now may not be who you are 2-3 weeks from now.
Social media is a powerful tool because of the real-time engagement, insights, and knowledge you can access from your audience. It’s also powerful because it gives everyone a voice and the opportunity to impact someone. Everyone can use social, but only the best can stand out.