BooksBooksBooks. And some Tweets.

Library_booksI’ve been on Twitter for a while ( @janineveazue ), and I really dig the way I’ve been able to increase my awareness of so many amazing inventions, lectures, projects, and people who are working towards book Nirvana. Passing that information around is the most fulfilling game I could ever play.

That being said, my office has just started up a Twitter feed ( @BN_Collectibles ) to highlight various items in our collection, talk about books with other book folks, and maintain a friendly relationship with those who might be interested in purchasing some of our fine titles. Acting as a social media marketer for a brand other than myself is quite new to me, and so far I’m not quite sure when my ‘voice’ should appear and when the voice of the company should step through.

I’m excited and ready for the challenge, but I’d love some recommendations from those of you out there who are also responsible for your company’s social media presence!

Holla back! (And Follow back!)

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6 comments

  1. Hey Janine! I ran my archives’ Twitter feed for about a year, and I had the same uncertainty about voice sometimes. I think it all depends on the kind of place you work at and the face they present to the public. I always advocate for an organization’s voice to be friendly, casual, and approachable on social media, so that users/customers feel like they’re interacting with a person rather than a faceless organization. You want to build relationships, and to do that you have to talk to people, not talk at people. At the same time, I know other people who’ve had to follow very strict rules about what they could post and how they could post on Twitter and other platforms.

    The good thing is it sounds like you might already be a part of the community your office wants to join. You know how these users interact with each other and how they talk. Maybe you even follow organizations similar to your own and know how they post (and if not, I’m sure you can easily find some!). Take a look at how all of these users present themselves and their organizations, and base your office’s voice on that.

    One last thing – does your supervisor/manager understand how Twitter works? Ask them what they think about your voice vs. your company’s voice. Maybe they don’t mind you being Janine on @BN_Collectibles rather than BN Collectibles on @BN_Collectibles. If they want a more “official” voice, you can still present a friendly, personable front while sticking closer to the company voice.

    Phew, that was a long comment! Does any of this help? I hope so!

    Good luck! – Rebecca

    P.S. – I LOVE the tweets you’ve sent out so far – that’s the kind of company Twitter I’d follow.

  2. Reblogged this on Ex tabulis and commented:
    Janine is an awesomely funny lady I follow online. She’s always posting really cool things on her blog, Twitter, etc. This past week she posted about her company’s new Twitter account (which she is managing), and her quandary over what ‘voice’ she should use when posting. I think this is something all organizations face when using social media – how do you represent yourself in an online community of people and organizations? Here’s my advice:
    “Hey Janine! I ran my archives’ Twitter feed for about a year, and I had the same uncertainty about voice sometimes. I think it all depends on the kind of place you work at and the face they present to the public. I always advocate for an organization’s voice to be friendly, casual, and approachable on social media, so that users/customers feel like they’re interacting with a person rather than a faceless organization. You want to build relationships, and to do that you have to talk to people, not talk at people. At the same time, I know other people who’ve had to follow very strict rules about what they could post and how they could post on Twitter and other platforms.

    The good thing is it sounds like you might already be a part of the community your office wants to join. You know how these users interact with each other and how they talk. Maybe you even follow organizations similar to your own and know how they post (and if not, I’m sure you can easily find some!). Take a look at how all of these users present themselves and their organizations, and base your office’s voice on that.

    One last thing – does your supervisor/manager understand how Twitter works? Ask them what they think about your voice vs. your company’s voice. Maybe they don’t mind you being Janine on @BN_Collectibles rather than BN Collectibles on @BN_Collectibles. If they want a more “official” voice, you can still present a friendly, personable front while sticking closer to the company voice.”

    In the end, you should establish some sort of guidelines (either a policy or a loose definition) of what kind of voice you will use on your platforms and stick to it. That way – whatever voice you feel most comfortable with – you will have a consistent voice and presence. Also, when someone else takes over the accounts, they have an idea of what voice they should aspire to use!

    Make sure to leave a comment for Janine if you have any advice. I looked at the tweets she’s sent out so far and I absolutely love them! They’re casual and fun enough to present her company as a friendly voice rather than a corporate entity, and that’s the kind of company Twitter I’d follow.

  3. I think the biggest hurdle in our minds is overcoming the possible ‘ugh, more BN spam’ responses to Twitter posts/follow requests. It’s important to emphasize that we are actually people and not some sequence of bots that usually clog emails, etc.

    Perhaps a Pinterest page might be next, utilizing its visual presentation for our items and reaching a more broad consumer base.

    1. I agree – it seems like a lot of orgs think being on Twitter will make them automatically “cool” no matter what they post. Their tendency to spam users with adverts has turned a lot of people off from following anything approaching a company. But I think if you mix in a lot of conversations with people between your posts about your products, people will be more willing to follow you. Like you said, they have to see you as awesome people who just so happen to run a company rather than just a company.

      I think Pinterest is a great platform to use – I’m still fairly new to it myself. It seems like people love looking at books/book covers there (at least from what my colleagues who run our Pinterest account say).

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