Tips for Developing Your Online Writing Style

23 Apr 2009

Ever thought about writing like you dress in your online communications?

I gave a talk the other day on making the most of social media and email marketing and we got into the conversation of creating the voice for your company in your online presence. At VerticalResponse, and right here in my SUN blog, I generally write like I speak– I’m an open book and I get pretty familiar with the customers and partners I meet. I purposely want that to translate online because I’m still trying to build relationships over a new medium. But how familiar should someone get? I relate writing styles to how you would dress for a business occasion.

For example:

Your Company Website: I equate this to putting on your most professional face to the public. You’re wearing the Brooks Brothers suit in order to make a great first impression. Proving you are competent and can handle the business. I want to be clear, articulate, and most important to be polished in my delivery.

Your Email Marketing and your Blog: The recipients who regularly read your blog and subscribe to your email newsletter are likely to be current customers. So think of your writing style here as how you would dress for a lunch meeting or perhaps sharing a cocktail at a networking event– Business Casual. You’ve got a great jacket on, but you’re sporting your designer jeans and having a little fun with your audience. These two should share the same voice when you drive newsletter readers to your blog for more information.

Your Facebook/Twitter page: These guys are your friends and your most loyal customers; you know their birthday and probably even their dog’s name.  I equate this to working from home in pajamas and sending an instant message about their recent purchase. Share the inside scoop; offer a pass to a conference here when you only have 2 extra tickets, give them the latest product information first and treat them like they’re on your short list to call. It’s also ok to share the personal side to your business. Tell stories from the road, conversations overhead, or something you just learned.

Remember in all of your communication, especially in business to business, don’t forget people buy from people, so show your personality and the personality of your company. But always maintain professionalism by eliminating any profanity or politically delicate topics.   Your customers probably don’t want to catch you in your underwear. So what will you be wearing in your next email campaign?

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