Social Media: What to Say, Where to Say it?
Want to create an engaging social media presence for your company? Be intentional. Intentionality is simply the idea of being specific about what you say online and where you say it. It can be time-consuming to adapt your brand’s voice and tone to different platforms, but it’s worth the effort. Why? Your message will be better received by your target audience.
Consistency is also important. Compelling content and eye-catching visuals are great, but the messaging behind them has to stay in line with what your brand is known for. The content that you produce can and should vary depending on platform, but the general message should be consistent throughout and true to your company’s unique voice.
During my time as a Castle intern, I learned about how to craft the best possible messages and how to figure out which platforms to use to attract your target audience and meet your company’s ultimate goals.
Messaging and tone vary across platforms and should be tailored to the result you’re looking to achieve. Many companies selling a specific product utilize Instagram to show off the look or benefits of the product and use Twitter to address or reply to customer concerns. Ask yourself: What is your ultimate goal? Is it to educate, inform, share values or culture, be playful? You must align your tone to your goal and audience. This will affect how your message is received. Should it be more whimsical, professional or serious? Is your goal in line with your social strategy, company branding and target audience?
It’s straightforward but important: know your industry and your target audience. For example, a public-facing brand like McDonald’s is a completely different industry than Salesforce, a company selling software as a business-to-business service. The sample tweets below show the difference in tone, messaging and branding between the two companies. McDonald’s is light-hearted and focuses on visual branding, while Salesforce uses a professional tone and focuses on content about research and services.
Identify which platforms your target audience is most inclined to use or pay attention to. For example, it goes without saying that different age groups are drawn to different platforms. Younger audiences tend to use Instagram and Tik Tok, while older audiences are drawn to Facebook and Twitter.
Different social media platforms also attract different types of engagement.
Twitter for example, is more casual, and brands often use language that makes them seem like an individual, not a professional brand. Linkedin, as opposed to Twitter, relies on very professional language and looks to target business-to-business interactions rather than a third-party audience. Instagram is very visual, so if a message includes a graphic, Instagram will be your best bet to make sure the algorithm highlights it. Facebook allows for more event promotion and advertising, since it targets content towards particular people or groups to draw in a larger audience. TikTok makes use of personal-feeling engagement through video content and also gives users the chance to broaden their audience through its algorithm. Finally, sites like Pinterest attract an engaged audience on specific topics through linking imaging and websites. Each social platform serves a different purpose, and public relations can help companies to prioritize which to utilize in order to best reach their target audience.
Consider each of these factors to craft a message that is received by your intended audience and effective while remaining on-brand. Think about the ads or messaging you’ve seen from companies on social media recently. Some brands feel consistent and clear in who they are. Others have no idea what the brand wants from you or how the message is related to their brand. Which company do you want to be? Companies that are able to find the right mix on social media are more likely to maximize their online engagement and increase their brand messaging.