When it comes to social media, we all know the general ‘rules’  and know that we need to find our authentic voice.  We know not to be too salesy, stay in regular contact, be genuine etc. – but we also know there’s a fine line between being yourself and being professional. Finding your authentic voice is the key to finding that happy middle ground – but how exactly can you find that authentic voice and what exactly is an authentic voice?

Your authentic voice – list your traits

If you want to find your authentic voice, then be you! It’s about knowing how and what you want to be seen as on social media. Do you want to be lively and fun or serious and cynical? Start by making a list of those character traits you have and the way you want to come across – for example, positive, flirty, engaging, serious, fun etc.  If you are not sure what you want your brand voice to convey – this blog post from Hootsuite on “How to establish your brand voice on Social Media” might help you move forwards. 

Factor in your business branding and client expectations

How do you brand your business? Again, this is where you can note down characteristics and traits, but from a business viewpoint. You want to find those traits that match you personally – as this is where your voice will be strongest. How do your clients expect you to be and what language do they consider normal for you? If you’re a young, trendy, graphic designer or artist, using text-speak may be the norm however, if you’re a middle-aged solicitor, it may come across as inconsistent or, even worse, the act of someone who is desperate to be liked.

Be human!

Talking of language, the easiest way to be authentic is to write as you speak. It can be all too easy to use fancy words and jargon, in an effort to try and sound more knowledgeable – but this results in cold, robotic-sounding text with no emotional attachment whatsoever. Use language that will resonate with your intended audience, not drive them away! Being human is about being you – be honest and friendly. Interact with others, be polite and respectful.

Don’t be afraid of vulnerability and emotion

Talking of emotional attachments, don’t be afraid of your emotions and of showing your more vulnerable side. If you’re passionate about something, write with passion. If you’ve made an error or a wrong turn, don’t just sweep it under the carpet – be honest – you can easily put a more positive spin on it and still own that mistake.

When you’re genuine and authentic, you’ll quickly build trust and respect on any social media – and that means more likes, interaction and rapport. So take on board that old, but relevant piece of advice – and just be yourself!  Do you find yourself hiding or lurking on social media – if you do you might want to have a read of this post about Stop Lurking on Social Media.

It’s interesting two of my favourite key takeaways from the Suzanne Dibble Spring into Action Challenge this week were around “never underestimate the power of being a decent human being” which was shared by Guest Speaker Tessa Hull and about sharing your core values with your audience which was talked about by Lisa Johnson.  Two things that I try to live my life by and hope that comes across on the About page of my website but whether I talk about these things enough in my social media is the question that I am pondering – what do you think?