Consistency on social media: 4 ways to get seen (by Nicola J Webster)
Consistency on social media is key – in more ways than one. Perhaps the most important way is how you talk to your audience.
Imagine you own a café. A customer walks in, and you greet them with, ‘hey there, what a beautiful day. What can I get for you?’ It’s polite but informal, friendly and inviting. Imagine you’re now that café owner writing a social media post. You’ve chosen an image of a fresh coffee and croissant, and you start the caption with, ‘Dear customers, this is an example of what is on our menu.’
Hmm. Something isn’t adding up. That’s formal, boring and purely factual. No adjectives, nothing to inspire someone to do anything other than scroll past.
You should write as you speak! It’s your brand, it’s your business, it’s you that makes it a success. Be consistent in the way you approach things. If you’re chatty and relaxed in person, write like that on social media.
When I tell people this they often push back. A common reply is that the written word is more formal, and you shouldn’t use abbreviations, colloquialisms, short sentences. Wrong!
We read differently on social media. The platforms are designed to be accessible. Content should be short and snappy. Your audience needs to be able to skim it. They’ll stop and read it in full if it grabs their attention.
Show up in a way that feels good to you
How often do you show up on social media? The old adage of quality over quantity is best. Don’t post for the sake of it – you’ll probably waffle. You might not have a point to the post. This will mean your audience won’t engage,, so you’ll get annoyed and not post for a while. It’s a vicious circle.
Be consistent. Get in the habit of posting regularly, when it works for you. That might be 2 posts a week. It might be 1 post and daily stories. It might be 3 times a week on 3 platforms. It’s got to be what works for you, and most importantly, it has to be manageable. If you post consistently, it’ll become a habit.
You’ll learn what works (and what doesn’t), and your audience will respond. Spend time planning the content – put as much thought into the words as you do into the pictures.
Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself
It’s worth remembering that not everyone will see every post. So part of being consistent on social media is to make sure you keep sharing the same message. Sure, swap the image or tweak the caption, but make sure you’re getting the same point across. Trained marketeers might tell you about the Rule of 7. This is the theory that people need to hear/see/read something 7 times before they take action.
The media world has changed since advertisers first introduced this theory, but there’s still truth to it. How often do you see an event advertised and think ‘I must sign up to that’? It’s probably rare that you do so the first time you see it.
When posting on social media, bear this in mind. Be consistent at telling your audience what you do, who you are, what you sell, where they can find you. Keep telling them and they’ll start to engage. They’ll start to buy and they’ll come back for more.
How will they recognise you?
One last tip from me: be consistent (you guessed it!) across social media platforms. Make it easy to identify your brand on all platforms. Don’t let people scroll past because they’re not sure if it’s you. By this I mean make sure you are consistent with your profile picture on all platforms. Ensure your bio/description contains the same content, adjusted for the length of the platform.
Nicola Webster is a freelance social media consultant. She retrained in social media strategy after a career in brand licensing. Nicola combines her licensing and marketing background with her expertise in social media to help businesses stand out. She’d love to hear from you if you have questions about social media. You can find her on Instagram or get in touch via her website.