Monday, March 5, 2018

Identify Your Authentic Social Media Voice

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As authors we talk a lot about voice. In fiction, and even non-fiction, it’s defined as that certain something that makes an author unique. In everything—from the rhythm, cadence and flow—to the sentence structure. It conveys the author’s personality and attitude.

Although many may not realize it, there’s an advantage to developing a voice for your social media presence. If you think about it, it’s something that those most successful social media folks have done.
But with social media, it’s not just the words you choose, but it encompasses the images you use to represent yourself and the topics of the updates you post.

Here’s how to develop an authentic social media voice:

1. Be yourself. This may seem obvious, but with any new technology, it’s easy to get sidetracked by all the bells and whistles. Don’t over think the hashtags or lingo of any platform.

2. Write like you talk. Try not to use words and phrases on social media that you wouldn’t use in conversation. Of course there are exceptions, one notable one is LOL! I don’t really use that in conversation, but I do crack jokes and it’s sort of a shorthand version of that.

3. Consider your community. I don’t necessarily mean your physical neighborhood, but more the people you surround yourself with. What do you talk about? What makes your group unique? What do you stand for?

4. Listen to the conversation around you. What do you have to add without becoming part of the noise? We all approach life from a unique perspective, don’t be afraid to be authentic.

5. Stay consistent. The majority of people out there like to know what to expect. Sure we all like occasional surprises, but when I walk into McDonalds I expect certain things. Your social media presence is like that as well. Develop a strong consistent presence and people will respect what you have to say.

6. Be relevant. There are lots of trivial things around, make sure your social media voice isn’t one of them.

7. Use hashtags wisely. Know what the etiquette is for each network you're on. On Twitter, limit yourself to no more than two (or occasionally three) per update. Facebook and Pinterest users prefer they not be used, and on Instagram the convention is fifteen or more.

8. Don't be an egomaniac. To keep your social media from being me focused, follow Edie’s 5 to 1 rule. For every 5 social media updates, only one can be about you.

9 Keep it positive. Let’s face it, nobody likes a whiner. Social media is no different, so keep the tone upbeat and positive.

10. Avoid lecturing and scolding. This is another no-no. If you wouldn’t like the tone in person, don’t use it on social media.

11. Make sure your avatar (image) reflects your voice. A lot of times, it's the only visual clue that can reinforce who you are. 

Social media voices can be witty, quirky, encouraging, snarky, playful, educational, and hundreds of other things. Make an effort to develop yours into an accurate representation of you. 

Now it's your turn, share what you think your social media personality is. Or if you're not sure, ask some questions and let's figure it out together. 

I'll go first. I think my social media voice is educational and encouraging. If I'm not hitting that, feel free to post what you think it is.

Don't forget to join the conversation!



  1. I always learn something from your posts, Edie. Great tips!

  2. I agree with Cathy. I learn and am encouraged when I read your posts. Thanks for this one!

  3. Great stuff Ms. Edie. I especially like #4 "Don't become noise." Another keeper ma'am. God's blessings...

    1. Cathy, Marilyn and Jim, Thank you! You all are so encouraging!

  4. Great tips! Number 9 is my favorite. We need more positivity online. Number 3 is another one worth considering. Just like they tell us to consider or ideal reader when writing, we should consider our community when posting online.
    This list is a amazing.
    Thank you, Eadie.

    1. Ingmar, positivity online is definitely lacking - at least on some days! LOL! thank you for stopping by, Blessings, E

  5. Great post, Edie. I hadn't thought much about my social media voice. I think it's encouraging and hopefully truth-speaking-with-grace. :) I appreciate you sharing the differences with hashtags and how many are most appropriate for each site. I didn't realize that on Facebook we shouldn't really be using them. Yikes! Thanks!

    1. Jeanne, I should elaborate on the FB advice. Facebook users do appreciate snarky and funny hashtags. Like #EveryoneLovesASnarkyComment, Blessings, E

  6. Thanks Edie. I'm always encouraged when I read your posts. I appreciate you sharing more great tips on voice and being relevant and consistent with our message across the board on social media...Something I struggle with at times. :0 These tips help us write with a purpose and still stay true to our individuality.

    1. Joann, you have such a strong vibrant voice. It's adds a great deal to our online world! Blessings, E

  7. These tips are very helpful. While growing social media, every bit of advice is worthwhile. I appreciate your advice, Edie. Thank you.

    1. Rebecca, it's definitely a process. And I'm so glad I can help, Blessings, E