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Ask ‘What’s The Point’ Before Getting Savage With Social

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Panelists from T3, Deutsch, and Something Massive share their best practices for establishing a fun and relatable social tone of voice.

Corporate social media presences have not always been known for their glowing personalities—especially in the early days of social when brands opted to play it safe. These days, brands are standing out by having the guts to take a stand, make a few friendly jabs, and even pick some battles with the competition. The result: Fun, relatable content that lightens the mood and brings audiences closer to the brand.

At Social Media Week Los Angeles, Rebecca Coleman, Founder at Something Massive, along with Angela Yang, Director of Social and Media Strategy for T3 and Rachel Stets, Associate Digital Strategy Director at Deutsch shared examples and experiences for establishing an authentic (and entertaining) tone of voice.

When is it appropriate to be savage?

Yang advised that it’s best to be savage when it’s not expected. It gives you the ability to go into the social space and change the way people think about your brand; so long as you know the point of that tone of voice and what it can do for you and your brand, it’s appropriate to be savage on social.

Plan to be savage

Your social media tone of voice must always be led by business goals; and there’s a need to plan your responses before they happen. Rehearse situations and how you will respond.

“Do your homework and be able to back up what you say”, commented Stets.

Include areas for having a point of view as part of your content planning. Know what you as a business stand for and understand how your audience are engaging on social media around specific issues.

“Brands that are truly successful are brands that are willing to take the risk” said Yang.

Why should you be savage

Yang shared three key reasons to be savage on social:

  • To create a connection with people who will care about your brand
  • To increase the chances that people will think of your brand
  • To get people to do something; a performance-based action that you can measure

Stets added, “Being savage is a niche response. Culturally, humor is having a big moment right now. Humorous content allows us to communicate in a new way, especially while there’s less talk about brands being aspirational. It’s now all about being approachable.”

Pitfalls to savage social

If you are not ready to stand your ground on key issues, in a timely manner, you shouldn’t get involved commented Yang.

There’s a risk of not having a voice by not commenting but also a risk of offending people when you do comment., added Stets.

Consistency is key; you need to establish a platform on which the tone of voice lives…execute it slowly and then jump into relevant conversations as and when it’s appropriate and relevant to do so.

Social media is extremely harsh but it’s also very forgiving. You can test and learn quickly.

Listen to your instincts

The session concluded by acknowledging that’s there’s a fine line between getting into a conversation and trying too hard. You should try to force your brand into a conversation that it doesn’t need to be a part of.

The answer: ask ‘what’s the point’, consider the end goal and putting content out there, and then listen to your instincts. Be grounded in your brand point of view and what you are trying to do for your business.

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