Being in the world of Social Media is inherently quite enjoyable. In social media, we enjoy the sharing of content and experiences with others, developing friendships, and establishing camaraderie between "like-minds". And all these technologically-enhanced social conversations are wonderful.
But (Yes, there's always a caveat.), you should find that sweet spot in the social spectrum, between P.R. Department Spokesperson and D.J. Words-From-The-Street.
The voice behind the business can be humourous, and the tone can be light, but you can achieve this social voice and tone mix without being "street social".
As a business entity, you should avoid sounding like a lolcat.
Being Street Social
While navigating the social realm, by all means be friendly! Communicate and converse in a way that makes your brand open and approachable. Your voice can be informal and conversational (as it is here), yet still conform to standard spelling and grammar rules.
- street slang (chill, bounce, …)
- words not found in the dictionary (ur, yea, …)
- incorrect spelling, grammar, or capitalization
Note that abbreviated and shortened words may be acceptable in some situations, especially within 140-character-limit settings. Using words like "ASAP", "RT", and even "X-mas" are understandable. However, use your best judgement for words like "plz" and "thx", and make sure they aren't riddled throughout your message.
A good way to approach being "social" and avoid being "street social", is to imagine that you are emailing your grandmother – not texting your BFF.
Will Grandma know it's you emailing her, but still understand what you're trying to say?
Shockley is an experienced digital marketing professional, helping businesses succeed online through SEM/PPC, SEO, Social Media, and Web Analytics. He is certified in both Google Analytics and Google AdWords, and also blogs at State of Digital.
Follow him on Twitter @ShockleyAu.