Striking a Balance Between Personal and Professional Online

masks Striking a Balance Between Personal and Professional Online

When it comes to social media marketing, it’s important to interact with your followers on a personal level. But then again you’re representing your business, so there is a level of professionalism that must be upheld. So how do you go about striking that delicate balance between the personal, down-to-earth individual that people can relate to, and the professional marketer that you are. Here are 6 tips for keeping your message both personal and professional in social media land.

Be Personal

1. Be Human

I know this sounds like a vague suggestion, but let me explain. If you’re not used to using social media as a marketing tool, it could be tough to adapt a tone of voice that draws in the kind of interaction and dialogue that you want. With traditional marketing methods like print, radio, and television ads, you impart a one-way message onto your audience. However, with social media marketing, you want to develop a tone that lets your followers know you’re ready listen to what they have to say.

Take ownership of your individuality rather than hiding behind a company name. Even though you’re operating under the name of your business most of the time, you should communicate as an individual person. Use language and a tone that reflects that.

2. Avoid Jargon

No one likes a smarty pants. Yes it’s true, you want your followers to think of you as a thought leader, but using jargon and big words on your social media networks will not impress people. Instead, you will come off sounding pretentious and confuse your audience. As long as you have a high-quality product or service you shouldn’t need to use fancy words to sell people on its value. Speak the language of your followers, and save the million dollar words for the board room.

3. Play off of Emotions

Don’t be afraid to use emotion in order to generate reactions and stir up conversations among your followers. I’m not telling you to manipulate your followers or incite a riot online, but you can empathize with followers during hard times or build off of excitement in good times. For example, an accounting firm could sympathize with clients during tax time, and celebrate with them once it’s over.

Be Professional

4. Watch Your Language

At the risk of sounding like your mother, it’s important to watch your language on the social media networks. Even if you market toward middle-aged men who probably don’t mind if you throw in the occasional “F-Bomb” for emphasis, this is a public platform and you never know who’s paying attention. Plus there are some people who would find your vulgar language offensive, or even worse, it could be interpreted as a sign of ignorance. Eer on the side of professionalism when it comes to using vulgar language on social media.

5. Watch Your Grammar

At the risk of sounding like your grade school English teacher, be mindful of using correct grammar and spelling on social media networks. The casual nature of networks like Facebook and Twitter can cause us to forget that we’re still dealing with customers and potential customers. Not that you have to dig out your old text books, but a solid command of the english language (or whatever your native language might be) and accurate spelling is all I’m asking here. It all comes down to how you want to be perceived. Do you want to come off as an educated, intelligent individual, or someone who didn’t make it past the 9th grade?

6. Be Informative

Social media for marketing purposes requires a different type of information sharing than your leisurely social media activities. Yes you can still share YouTube videos on Facebook, but instead of sharing “Charlie Bit Me,” record or curate a video that is relevant to your business or industry. Participating in social media is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader. In order to do that, you need to share information that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise.

Some people have a natural talent for communicating in a way that is both personal and professional. For others, it will take time to find that balance. Pay attention to the way other Page administrators interact on Facebook and the type of Tweets other businesses are sending out to their followers. This can give you a feel for the type of content and tone that fits into that happy medium of professional and personal.

Originally Posted at the Marketing Savant.

2 Responses to Striking a Balance Between Personal and Professional Online

  1. Rosane Tardin Chaves November 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Great. Perfect.

  2. Nick Stamoulis November 10, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    When it comes to online marketing and social media, there really is no separation between your personal life and your professional life. Business contacts will want to connect with you even on a personal account. If you own a business or are the face of a company, you need to keep this in mind when taking any action online.