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It is easy to get overwhelmed with the multitude of social media options, but the secrets to successful social media boil down to the three Vs: value, values, and voice.


Social media content has to be bigger than a single person or organization. Writing about just you or your organization may keep the search engines happy, but it will bore readers to tears. The first secret is to deliver value to readers. Think of how to improve their lives (not by simply selling a product or service, but by talking about it in a way that has an impact). Content doesn’t have to be profound but should provide a reason for someone to stay and play. Create value for readers via the content posted in social media.

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Values means writing about principles that are important. Some organizations, because of their industry, mistakenly believe that their use of social media must be formal, noncommittal, and sterile. But compliance or regulatory issues do not dictate that social media communications must be boring. A good financial social media maven can write about basic investing principles and strategies, and share links to other articles to illustrate the need to plan wisely. A company selling rafting trips can use social media to share valuable content by sharing their values about the pristine beauty of the location, how people are cleaning it up, and what the reader can do to save the planet (and mention at the end of the post that the reader might want to book a rafting trip to see this beauty for themselves). Hit the big issues first, then talk about you or your organization second.


Have an authentic voice. The simplest way to figure out what your authentic voice is, is to write the way you talk. If an organization is in the medical industry, the authentic voice may be more professional and compassionate and geared toward making readers feel confident in their medical facility. The CEO of a company may have more of an opinionated, strong voice in social media. Just converse with the readers on issues you care about, and your voice will ring through loud and clear. Through an authentic voice, you create connections.

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