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Thanks to everyone who came to hear me speak during Weekend Startup School. Please show your support and subscribe to #SmartBrownVoices on iTunes here ===> http://bit.ly/SmartBrownVoices. Please leave a review of the show and help us grown. If you’d like to be a guest on the show send me your story at streetforce1@gmail.com.

Here is a list of resources, tools, and other items that might be helpful to you and your business.

Link to my presentation:


From 0-100,000 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Resources

My favorite tools:

  • Google Analytics  – measure your website traffic
  • Hootsuite – Schedule and engage with your audience on Twitter
  • TweetFull.com – Automate retweets and fav based on keywords
  • Canva.com – Create images for social media quickly
  • Instagress.com – Engage with Instagram
  • Twitter Chat List – Find a Twitter chat that fits your niche
  • SumoMe.com – Free e-mail capture popup and social media toolbars
  • BufferApp.com – Schedule your social media post in advance
  • WordSwag – Create amazing text images for social
  • Woobox – Create content for social media
  • Rapportive.com – Social CRM in your gmail
  • haikudeck.com – Super simple and easy presentations
  • HARO – 3 timer per day you get leads to possible PR for your business
  • Ahrefs.com – See who is linking to your competition

 

Developing Your Voice in Social Media

The following  is intended as a guide to establish the “voice” for an online property, brand, or business. Achieving an accurate voice humanizes the brand, adds dimension to engagement and supports consistent, cohesive writing enabling the authenticity for which we strive.

Voice Checklist

Define the following:

  • Three adjectives describing the voice;
  • A celebrity/publicly known individual personifying the brand;
  • Characteristics: what activities/interests or practices do you associate with this person?
  • Define reply conventions: (@, “[Name],” etc.)
  • Catchphrases/Buzzwords: what are specific words and phrases particular only to this community (if any)? Is there a subtle branding opportunity within language?
  • What are the common voice-specific affirmations? (Many brands fall into the pattern of saying, “Thanks for sharing!”/”That’s great!”; a voice match should provide easy alternatives to these routine replies)
  • What emoticons and punctuation are suitable?

 

 

Follow these steps. Do not try to come up with a person, first. The person should appear to you, as the profile becomes more detailed.

  • Look at your target demo; to whom are you speaking?
  • Ask: is this audience different from the group to which the brand wishes to speak? It is critical to define the audience as much as possible. Use Facebook Ads Manger to help further define and refine your audience.
  • Detail the characteristics of a representative audience member (order of inquiry should vary according to brand-specific considerations, note that you may revisit early characteristics as you move down the list):
  • Sex, age range, marital status
  • Profession, education level, income class
  • urban v. rural locale, indoors person v. outdoors
  • Interests
  • How does this person spend their free time? What do they do on weekday nights? the weekend?
  • How does this person socialize?
  • What t.v. shows does this person watch? What are their favorite songs?
  • What is this person’s favorite meal?
  • In what subject matter is this person an expert? What is their skill set/knowledge base?
  • What is the primary source from which this person gathers information (books, online, friends and family…)?
  • What gets this person excited? What items or activities does this person value?
  • Without which items does this person never leave the house? What personal objects/items are really special to this person?
  • What would be this person’s high school superlative?

Now: What celebrity fits the above? Why? Come up with a few people: which person can you visualize speaking on the page? If someone seems not quite right, where are the shortcomings?

Qualifier/Ask:

  • Will this voice stand the test of time and be a guide for relevant and contemporary content?
  • Where are we trying to go with the brand in social: if the company is more traditional but we are trying to carry the legacy into the future, the celebrity should support this looking-ahead.
  • Think of the most successful posts: do they align with this voice? If not, is that a problem (why don’t they align)?
  • Would use of this person as a guide be inclusive of your present content concepts, focus subjects and Branded Status Updates?

 

If your voice plan doesn’t pass this test, why? Where are the holes? Step away (overnight? maybe review some posts where you can “test” the voice), and consider letting everyone reflect on alternative options

If yes, complete the picture:

  • Catchphrases/Buzzwords: what are specific words and phrases particular only to this community (think hashtags for FB)? Is there a subtle branding opportunity within language?
  • What are common voice-specific affirmations? A developed voice should provide easy alternatives to routine replies such as, “Thanks for sharing!”/”That’s great!”
  • What emoticons and punctuation are suitable? Ex.: use of exclamations or happy faces might make a more male voice seem feminine. Confirm use is deliberate. Voice development should warrant consideration of all previously used conventions.
  • Go through the top ten most common inquiries and come up with sample responses. These are not to be holding replies/cut and paste situations, but examples of how to execute thoughtful voice.
  • Consider creation of an “inspiration board” or voice reference resource: collect visuals, reading materials and other descriptive examples of your “celebrity” as a guide and source of inspiration for your voice.