How to Avoid Inconsistent Messaging in Social Media Engagement

Marketers know that it takes at least five impressions before a sale is closed. With online marketing techniques such as social media engagement, though, this doesn't necessarily mean five views of a banner ad.

Seeing a company's logo on a banner ad could be one of five impressions that etches a company's name into a consumer's mind so they reach for that company's product at the grocery store aisle. Another impression might be a reference from a friend in a social network while another might be a promoted post or tweet. Marketing messages need to be consistent from platform to platform.

Being consistent in your social media engagement efforts is critical to building and maintaining your online reputation and the trust that develops from thoughtful interaction in your social media channels. When you aren't solely responsible for monitoring or managing your channels, you should ensure that the tone and messaging always align with your brand image and personality.

The more people involved in monitoring, messaging, and posting, the more chance for missteps unless you can keep everyone on the same page. This list describes elements to compose or set up and share with your team:

  • Brand documents: Describe your brand personality, messaging tone, and other details that dictate how your brand is presented in social media channels.

  • Social media engagement guidelines and policies: Spell out the do's and don'ts of posting and responding online for all members of your team.

  • A written Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document: Strategically answer common questions and situations that are raised in your social media channels and compiled with the help of your team.

  • Terms of service or rules of behavior: Document these guidelines for your team, and post them publicly for your community members as well. You can post guidelines using a Facebook app maker, such as Woobox or Shortstack, or using Facebook Notes.

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  • Community policies: Add a privacy policy and security policy, and post them publicly.

  • A team-oriented, social media management tool: Look for one that allows teams to work together to manage social channels, to assign tasks to team members, and to record outcomes, such as (on the high end) Radian6 or (the more moderately priced) Sprout Social, HootSuite, or many others.

When you manage a community online in your social networks, clearly outline how you protect community members' information that's submitted via forms, surveys, registration, shopping cart checkouts, and other communications methods. Search for sample privacy and security policies at your favorite online search engine. Check with a lawyer or the legal department before posting on your website and social channels.

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