What’s Your Social Voice?

I so love LinkedIn! This amazing business networking site boasts an impressive 65M+ user base and climbing. Roughly 65% of LinkedIn’s users are tagged as key decision makers, which is sales code for…they can buy from you! That, in and of itself, is a HUGE reason for you to use LinkedIn as a sales relationship tool that becomes a part of your natural sales/networking process. Decision makers, with money to spend, are using LinkedIn to check out your capabilities (and that of your competitor), polling colleagues for recommendations and doing research into what is available. They are talking about their like’s, dislike’s and sharing their current business frustrations and challenges. Are you listening? For sales people, LinkedIn should be the #1 place they go to prepare for their sales meeting. The amount of real-time information to be leveraged is…well…just plain staggering.

Speaking of leveraging conversation and information…I want to tell you about a really great question that was posed recently by Dana Detrick-Clark in one of my LinkedIn groups. She’s curious about the approach that others are taking in determining their blogging voice. And because the question is so applicable to “What approach do I take/voice do I use when answering group questions in a social community?”, I wanted to share Dana’s question and a part of my response.

Dana asks…Which is more important in a blog: speaking to a particular kind of reader, or speaking in your own ‘voice’? I’m curious as to what other business owners prefer, especially in business and/or marketing related blogs. Do you like the more journalistic approach, where you get “just the facts” for the information you’re after, or would you rather read a blog that’s more personal (even if that means at times it can be irreverent or reveal more personally about the author than what you normally find in a biz blog)?

Here was a portion of my answer…

You asked a great question that comes up a lot with clients. How much is too much information? Of course, like all such questions, the answer invariably is “it depends”.:)

Given that I own my business, I have more latitude with the approach I choose to take. So to be fair, I have a little more freedom when it comes to the information that I share in my blog posts. Each company has to decide what supports their core values and customer loyalty statement. But I urge companies to move away from their fear of “what could happen if someone says the wrong thing” and embrace the opportunity for building brand loyalty through media like blogs. There are a number of great stories about how companies were humanized in the eyes of their buyers and all because they “got real” on a blog. Sure, guidelines need to be established so that people know what’s cool and what isn’t (had to do it with email, remember?). From there, give employees training and then hold them accountable to be responsible when having conversations in the social space.

So what’s your take? Real in the blogosphere or not?

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