What is Your Social Media Voice?
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
One of the hardest balances to find in a sales career is maintaining authenticity while trying to grow your business. The minute you are thrown into action you are encouraged to make your mark; advertise on social media, alert your circle, execute personalized scripts, knock on strangers doors, do whatever it takes to get your name out there... the list is endless.
For extroverts and social individuals, this may have been an effortless task. For me, it was a challenge. I wanted to succeed in my new career venture, but wanted to ensure I would maintain my integrity and authenticity. Where was the line?
My first endeavor as a sales pupil brought me back to a phenomenon I was introduced to in my childhood, the "phone voice". If you are not familiar with this common trope, your "phone voice" is the inflection you tend to adopt while speaking with acquaintances and strangers, typically on the phone. Your discomfort exemplifies at such a level that your tone or volume tend to adjust out of your normal range. It is an inauthentic representation of your personality, no matter how harmless.
While reflecting back on this, I couldn't help but recognize the parallels in the "phone voice" phenomenon and how so many of us present ourselves on social media. This rings true especially for those of us seeking to sell - whether that is product, influence, or both. In a world where sales and business extend beyond what once was only face-to-face interaction and phone communication, how we appear on social media is now equally as important, if not more.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 39% of clients hired their real estate agent based on referrals from friends and family. 24% hired based on having past experience working with them. Not only was it noted these buyers and sellers followed up these methods with social media searches but it also leaves 37% of people to rely on their searches alone. With the immense access to internet we have today combined with businesses ability to utilize its power, it is not unexpected this would be a leading place for that 37% to search for their future agent. Not only to see their prominence but also their personality.
A big component of any hiring process is whether or not the prospect can be trusted or whether or not they will mesh with the opposite party's own personality. It is even common practice with some companies to request interviewee's social media handles to see if how they carry themselves online reflects what that company stands for and what they want to be known by. How powerful is that? Who thought back when social media was just being born, it would hold so much weight it would be a determining factor in someone's career path just a few years later? Thanks Tom and Mark.
While the social media responsibility has high consequences for the wrong choices, it has high reward for the right choices of post content. But what is the right content?
It is easy to get caught up in posting what we think our audience wants to see and hear. But did you know in a recent study, 86% of people sought authenticity in a product, service, or company when in the hiring search and deliberation process. 70% of that same group surveyed were able to distinguish between brand created content and consumer created content*. If they felt that content was inauthentic, 20% unfollowed or unsubscribed to that producer or creator. The numbers increased even more with the millennials.
*It is important to note influencers' content was counted as brand created content, not consumer created content
With all of that in mind, what is your social media voice? Are you snapping disillusioned pictures to fill your timeline? Is your inflection a little morphed on the social media phone line? Don't contribute to the salesman bad rap. The Information Age could use some more realness and authenticity.