Why social media isn’t just for pop stars

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‘Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’

(That’s what Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, says.)

Now imagine the room is a Facebook page and you can hear what everyone’s saying. You can be a fly on the wall or smack-bang in the middle of the conversation. It’s your call.

Social media’s where people go to get on their soapboxes; to mount their high horses; to talk about your products, services, logos and staff as much (or as little) as they like. They can be your biggest fans or most determined enemies. And your social media team are the first line of defence; the voice of your brand. They need to be quick-witted, knowledgeable, articulate, smile-inducing fire-fighters with quick fingers. It’s a tough gig.

But what do a lot of brands do? Put the work experience kid in charge of Twitter, of course. It’s crazy. If you spend a truckload of cash on your brand language and traditional advertising but don’t train your social media writers, you’re asking for trouble.

The writing principles don’t really change. What you say on social media might be different, but the principles behind how you say it are the same: use language people understand to grab, enlighten and inform. It’s still a conversation, after all. And even though you can’t predict what people say, you can be ready and waiting in the right room when they start talking.