How To Find Your Social Media Voice

By Phil Cooke

Finding your authentic voice in social media isn’t that different from traditional media. I had a client once who was a TV host. The problem was, as soon as the red light came on the camera, he became a completely different person. His voice got deeper. His style became bigger. He was more over the top. The problem was – that wasn’t him. Even his high school age daughter would tell him, “Dad, stop using your TV voice.” But many of us do the same thing on social media. We try to project authority, sound more spiritual, or generally be someone we’re not. Remember my age-old branding advice – a brand isn’t about becoming something (or someone) else, it’s about discovering who you really are. So with that in mind – here’s my advice about finding the real you on social media:

1) Don’t say things on social media you wouldn’t say to someone face to face.   I have a friend that suddenly becomes totally “spiritual” on social media. He blurts out cheesy cornball Christian sayings he’d never actually say to anyone face to face. Others become hyper political, or try to be overly inspiring. If that’s not you when you’re off Facebook, then my advice is to drop it when you’re on Facebook.

2) Think about your own personality.   Do you love jokes? Make people happy? Think about more serious things? Love sports? Keep that personality online. People like you because you’re unique, so stop trying to be someone else. Make sure that if your followers didn’t know it was you, they’d be able to figure it out just by your subject matter, writing style, and online personality.

3) Write about the One Big Thing in your life.   Just like I write about in my book, discovering the One Thing that defines you, that you’re passionate about, and that you love is the key to discovering your purpose – and developing your brand. If you haven’t read the book, I’d encourage you to get it right away. Once you find that unique niche, then your voice becomes defined, and you’ll start getting noticed.

You can stay frustrated that few people are following you on social media, or start re-thinking your unique voice. It’s not something you make up – it’s something you are.  Find it and start getting heard.

photo credit: 2create

Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a media producer and strategist. His new book for church and nonprofit leaders is "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Branding and Social Media." Find out more at philcooke.com.