I just returned from speaking at the Medical Internet Marketing Symposium (MIMS) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. My course was called “Marketing in the Digital Age” and covered everything from how to make your avatars more engaging to great uses for QR codes (those funky bar code squares you might have seen around).
One theme that I emphasized was what I like to call “Monique’s Social Media High T’s”. They are the four components of a successful social media strategy and all of your posts and campaigns should take them into consideration.
This week we’ll explore the first High T: HIGH TRUST
Having a high degree of trust in social media is vital because you are communicating online verses in person. You don’t have the benefit of hearing voice inflection, tone, or seeing facial expression, body language, etc. This can create misunderstandings and/or confusion.
Here are a few keys to keep your writing HIGH TRUST:
- TONE: The words you write need to be familiar in tone… not talking down or condescending. Try to write the same way you might talk to someone in person. A good way to test your post before hitting the “submit” button is to read it out loud. If it sounds forced, or unnatural, then you probably need to revise.
- ACCESSIBILITY: Social media can be a great way to position yourself as the expert in your field, BUT this doesn’t mean you have to come off as pretentious. Your posts can still reflect a high degree of knowledge and expertise; keep the jargon and buzzwords to a minimum. This will help people to better understand and connect more to the subject. One good way to test your post for accessibility is to have an eighth grader, or non-industry person, take a read. If they find it difficult, then you might consider going back to the drawing board. Take a look at this post on the Lighthouse Writing Tips Blog for some good rules of thumb to make your writing more readable.
- TACT: Use this rule of thumb: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times. If you are a medical professional, translates to keeping things professional and HIPAA compliant.
If you want a great book about trust and social media, I highly recommend you read Trust Agents by Chris Brogan.
– From the book jacket….
“Trust agents aren’t necessarily marketers or salespeople; they’re the digitally savvy people who use the Web to humanize businesses using transparency, honesty, and genuine relationships. As a result, they wield enough online influence to build up or bring down a business’s reputation. This book will show you how to build profitable relationships with trust agents, or become one yourself.
In an online world defined by its transparency, becoming a trust agent is no easy task, but once you’ve established your reputation, you can build influence, share it, and reap the benefits of it for your business. When you’ve learned a trust agent’s secrets, your words can carry more power and more weight than any PR firm or big corporate marketing department.”