Have you thought about the tone or voice you create when you interact with social media? As a business leader, using social media can be ineffective if you aren’t also guarding your reputation and brand closely. Part of that brand is your voice, the things you stand for and the way in which you interact with others. If you happen to be a solopreneur, creating a brand voice isn’t as difficult, but how do you remove emotion or frustration from your online interactions? Consistency is critical to your business’s brand and identity!
One solution is to create a comment tree. A comment tree can become the model for both solopreneurs or complex organizations. It creates a system of how and when you will respond to online posts by others. And, it allows you to guard your uniformity – even to the point that others on your staff or team can follow the pattern and respond in the voice of the organization, not as themselves. This is a big piece of a growing presence in social media circles for businesses.
To create a comment tree, first you must identify the types of comments you will respond to. On Facebook, for instance, is it a “Like” only? Those may or may not need a comment. Was a question asked? If so, it’s always better for the brand or business to respond. How do you handle retweets on Twitter? Do you acknowledge them? Under what circumstances would you ignore them? These are just examples, and there will always be unique situations for your company, but begin by trying to develop a pattern of “types” of comments you wish to respond to, and organize them into a flow chart.
Once you’ve decided what types of comments you will respond to, you need to look at the types of responses you wish to give. How you handle a question from a Fan or Follower may be different than when a Fan or Follower shares something inappropriate or inaccurate with you. As best as you can, categorize typical response types into general patterns so you can create comment and interaction “rules.”
In this way, you will be able to protect and grow the image and brand you are working hard to create for your business. Consistency is the social media “gold standard” in many ways. A comment tree is one way that companies like Polka Dot Impressions can speak in the voice of other businesses through social media channels. It’s also how large companies can maintain their common voice when multiple staff members post on behalf of the company. And it’s a great way to begin identifying and developing your own social media policies, which leads to better brand and reputation management!