At Marketing Eye we are regularly asked by clients " what social media platform should I use?" and "what sort of content do I put on my social accounts?"

Social Media is an important communication and engagement platform businesses should think about strategically. Each platform has a specific personality. All posts should be based on your audience, but businesses need to think about the way in which they deliver their information. Does your audience want to read an extensive study? Or would they prefer a humorous anecdote? We've translated each platform and given them an equivalent voice 'dress code' to make things simple.

Understanding social media basics - what social media accounts should I use?

LinkedIn - The well-dressed professional

LinkedIn has changed a LOT in the past few years. It has become a powerful tool for professional connections. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the reply when asked for a resume "just look me up on LinkedIn."

Today everyone uses LinkedIn and if you don't have a LinkedIn account stop reading and go set up your profile NOW. For all your content on LinkedIn, you have to think about your audience (duh). If you are looking for a new position, a business connection, or even to show off your new job to an old rival, you want to be seen as very professional. As you would expect the person reading your content to be professional. They might be wearing a suit or some really sophisticated business attire.

When you walk into a room full of well dressed professionals you usually speak more formally. The basics of proper grammar and using full names in introductions are usually adopted. Most people stay away from colloquialisms. We all want to be thought of as the "smartest person in the room," so we try and put out that vibe.

Twitter - Business casual

Twitter is a different story as far as grammar is concerned. With a shortage of words (140 characters) people tend to become very inventive. However, the audience issues are still the same. When do people look at their twitter feed?- all day or at least we hope so.

Most people are at work during the day or out living their lives. Typically, if they are at work, they aren't wearing their pajamas as a lot of companies don't really like you to wear jeans to work. That puts most of the average audience wearing khakis and button ups or polo shirts.

This is a more casual conversation but still not "just chatting with your best friend." You aren't always sure who's going to be reading your feed so you don't want to sound like an idiot and you don't want to sound like a snob. Focus on the professional chat with a colleague not an old college friend you used to beat at beer pong and not a job interview.

Facebook - Casual

Facebook has become the casual 'say anything' platform. If your feed is anything like mine it is covered with family pictures, zen quotes, strangely helpful tips, and strong political opinions.

This is always fun to read, but I rarely take the time during my work day to scroll through it. I love taking a break at the end of the day on my couch and "Facebooking." It's a chance for me to sit with my dogs and zone out. I get the feeling I'm not alone in this guilty pleasure. A lot of people that are playing on Facebook do it at night or on the sly at work. This is by far the most casual of the platforms. For my couchsurfing time, I love comfy pj's and socks, not the suit I've been in all day.

Content on Facebook has to be interesting, eye catching and relevant to your audience. This is obviously true for every platform but with so many different distracting posts to read you really have to stand out.

So what voice should you use?

When creating content for LinkedIn, think about how you would talk to someone in a suit. When Tweeting think about someone in a business casual attire and how you would address a professional colleague. If you are creating content for Facebook, relax and be comfortable with your audience.

Most importantly for all platforms, know who you are try to reach and what you want them to do with your information. Always keep your focus and be honest, people can sense when you aren't genuine even in a tweet.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a leading marketing expert having pioneered two specialist marketing firms into operations all over the world.

With 20 years experience, Mellissah has worked with over 200 companies, emerging and large multinational, on developing and executing strategic marketing campaigns.

From developing strategic marketing plans to re-inventing old brands in a changing market place, Mellissah has creative flair, business acumen and a knowledge of all aspects of marketing. She has also worked extensively in marketing and communications for companies listing on the ASX in both the small cap and large corporate arenas.

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