Social Media 101 – Step 2: Consistency of Message

Social Media MarketingOne of the cool things about social media (and social marketing) is that you can do just about anything. You can blog and Tweet and Facebook and Tumbl and generally show your butt across a million different outlets. Unfortunately, this freedom can also be a hindrance…

You can wind up so scattered that you waste a lot of time. While paring down the list of places that you update is a good idea, it’s not really as important as the consistency of the message that you’re putting out there. You want that message to display who and what you are – but more importantly, you want that message to have a consistency of subject, feel and personality. It’s best practice to have message you post up, Tweet, blog or Tumbl to have the same “brand.” After all, you’re building your brand here – whether you’re a multinational conglomerate responsible for the construction of lightbulb filament coating or some long-haired schlub sitting in a coffee shop pecking away at a laptop, making bad jokes and referencing coffee way too many times – you are trying to build a consistent and recognizable brand. You want people to be able to recognize your stuff without you having to tell them it’s your stuff. You want them to have a comfort level that grows – because that comfort is where real interaction comes from. And, my dear readers, that interaction is the heart of social media/social marketing.

Keeping your message consistent is paramount. So, I present to you The Incredibly Important Tip #2:

Lesson 2: Keep on Truckin’ in the Same Truck

What you need to do is to define your message. Are you all about sales? Then be all about sales. Are you all about humor? Then keep up the jokes. Are you all about weird photos of cats saying reasonably humorous things using misspelled words? Well – keep that up. It’s been done to death, but – whatever.

Me, I’m all about farting around and doodling and writing things. I’m kind of a hipster doofus with weird taste in music and clothes. I love art and design and coffee and I enjoy helping folks think differently about what they do. So – my social media life reflects that. I decided to forgo the fake “agency” thing a while back, and it fits me. I’ve built my brand around who I am. That might not be right for you or your business – but it’s an example of what CAN be done.

Since you’ve already defined your “brand” (who and what you are) in Step 1, you should be able to pretty easily translate that into your social media message. Now – you’ve got to keep it consistent…

The Exercise:

Part 1: Write down how you want people to perceive your business/self/brand/product. If you look back to what you did in Step 1 (you DID do Step 1, didn’t you?) this should be easy. Remember, though – perceptions don’t have to be 100% accurate, and you can manipulate those perceptions. If you decide to go with phony, you’ve got to really keep it up – or people will find out and get PISSED. Plan accordingly.

Part 2: Write down the general content you want to put out there – it doesn’t have to be huge: Stuff like “information on taxes (or whatever your business/brand/whatever is)” or “humor” or “coffee.” You can pick a few – but keeping it simple will help you in the long run. Try to narrow your focus – and try to cater to your intended audience. You want to give them something of value so they come back, reTweet, post links, etc – again, that’s the Holy Grail of social media/marketing.

Part 3: STICK TO THIS. You’re trying to build a comfort level here. If you are putting out mixed messages, you make it hard for folks to identify and remember you. Pick something and stick to it. Social media and marketing is about the long haul – so pick carefully and wisely. It’ll pay off.

Once you’ve got this defined and refined and ready, you’ll be ready for Step 3: Find or Make a Hole and Fill It