One of the great opportunities that social media provides a business is an opportunity to explore the boundaries of its brand voice. The nature of this marketing channel is in its name. It’s “social” and one of the hardest parts about managing social media is that we’re invading our customers’ “social” space. You’re a business trying to vie for visibility and attention in a space typically devoted to their friends and family. How do you win the attention of your customers, then? One way is to become as much of a “friend” as possible – by being someone that they can identify with.
People know there is a person posting those updates on Facebook and Twitter. They know there’s a personality behind the iPhone camera snapping the pics – let it show through a little bit, regardless of how formal your business is. Interject an occasional personal pronoun when replying to a tweet. Drop a pop culture reference if you see the opportunity. Humanize your social media accounts; make them real. Let them peek in at the great wizard.
The Pfister Hotel is a very formal space and can be intimidating to some guests. In person, we overcome this with our incredible associates who are friendly, welcoming and genuinely interested in striking up real, often informal, conversations with our guests. I’ve taken the same approach on social; all of our social followers know there’s an average Joe who cares about them manning all the social networks, and they know formality isn’t a requirement from either end of the conversation. They get real responses to their questions in my voice. Sometimes they’re simple answers, sometimes they have cheesy puns, and sometimes they’re giving personal recommendations with personal pronouns.
As with anything in business, exploring these boundaries shouldn’t be done without caution. Done right, though, it can make for interactions that are far more fun for both your customers and the “wizard behind the curtain.”
Dustin Zick is social media manager for Marcus Hotels & Resorts.