Last month many businesses sent out Academy Award related tweets and Facebook posts. In the week leading to the show, brands shared predictions and party ideas. After the show was over they tweeted congratulations to winners and, in rare cases, disappointment over the results. What was your brand saying before, during and after the awards were given out?
While we have to remember that the brands we represent on social media are not human as they don’t eat, travel or go to the gym, they also don’t exist in a vacuum. Your brand is a part of the community in which it lives. It could be part of the popular culture or it could be a part of the counter culture. Sometimes it’s a good idea to share news or an opinion about what’s going on in the world. Sometimes it can lead to a public relations disaster. How can your brand relate to the world around it without risking a social media catastrophe?
You know how much you hate to listen to your cousin complain about how unlikable some celebrity, brand or group is? Now think about what that would sound like coming from your favorite brand of toothpaste. When sending out a tweet or a Facebook post about the world around your brand, make sure to stay positive. There’s no reason that your brand should ever “get upset,” even if your pick for best actor didn’t win. Send congratulations, best wishes or share excitement about an upcoming project, but never send complaints.
Stay quiet on politics:
Even if your business relies on political policy being set one way or another, your brand’s social media isn’t the place to share your thoughts or concerns. Discussing politics online will lead to two things: uninspired, hateful arguments, and half (sometimes more, sometimes less) of your followers feeling alienated. While it’s fine to show support for a local sports team or favorite Oscar contender, leave political comments to the talking heads that make them for a living.
Keep Things G-Rated and SFW
There is never a time when posting a risqué comment or photo is a good idea. Even lingerie and soap brands that use sex appeal to sell their products rarely do more than hint at naughty behavior. If you want to repost a funny joke or photo you saw somewhere around the web that’s fine (actually, encouraged) but it better be something that you would be willing to show to your young niece or nephew the next time you’re over for a visit. If you even have to think about it, it’s always better not to post something than make a post that you may someday regret.
Stay in Your Wheelhouse
When tweeting about the community that your brand lives in, don’t overstep your bounds. If you’re a local business, tweet about local news, activities and sports teams. If you’re a clothing brand, tweet about clothing, not power tools. You never want your brand’s fans or followers asking themselves, “Where did that tweet come from?” Just like a human, your brand has a personality. Stick to what you know and what your followers expect from you. Just because something is a trending topic and getting a lot of attention at the moment doesn’t mean that it’s something your brand needs to share an opinion on.
Always Aim to Promote Your Brand
While making a funny comment or wishing someone good luck in a tweet is nice, don’t forget what the real purpose of the account is: Promoting your product. Always relate any comment you make back to your brand. This could mean plugging an upcoming event, product launch or just displaying one of the positive qualities that your brand already exudes. It could be something as simple as showing that your brand cares about the local community or something as direct as tweeting about how your product may solve a popular problem. Whatever you do, remember that people are following you because they are fans of your brand, not your witty banter. Don’t lose focus. You might miss out on an opportunity to improve your brand’s bottom line.
What are your best tips for refining a brand’s voice on social media? Let us know in the comments section below!