Social Media Challenge 4: The Final Frontier

Tone. It's something that even professional social media teams will struggle with. You may remember the controversial SpaghettiOs tweet from Pearl Harbor Day last year.

Their intentions are all in the right place, but something just seems off about that joyfully patriotic little O. Many people perceived the message to be condescending. This is a great example of why there should be an approval process for social media, so that multiple people can weigh in on potential issues before they go live.

For those of us who are one-person shows, we don't have a committee to run our work by before it goes online. But it is important to have a trusted group who can take a look at things. Especially in the beginning, making sure that your tone is in line with your brand personality is important, and it's good to get a feel for who your brand is before you do anything risky or controversial.


The first step in your tone training has already happened. All the time that you've been playing on social media, making a calendar, and creating content, you've been working on tone. If you've kept up with the homework, you know what kind of posts you like to write, you know what your brand sounds like, and you know what gets the most positive response from your network.

The number one rule of thumb in social media is: When in doubt, don't.

If you've written something that you're unsure of, don't post it. The fast-paced world of online networking may make you feel like you should be producing daily, hourly, even minute by minute content. But posting good quality is just as important as posting on a regular basis.

Your final homework assignment for this project is an ongoing one. Personify your brand. When making content, constantly ask yourself if this is something your brand would say, would do. Run posts you're not sure about by friends and contacts that you trust. Keep engaging with your market, even when it seems like there's no response, even when it seems like you're too busy. Be there for your community, and they will be there for you.

Feature image courtesy of Sean McCabe

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