Key Messages are a critical component of any strategic communications plan. They often define an organization’s value proposition, highlight products and services, and, most importantly, lay the foundation for consistent brand representation across multiple communication channels. The question is: what happens when you have to take those carefully honed messages and fit them into 140-characters?
Less Characters, Same Message
As eloquent as your key message points may be, they may not fit within Twitter’s 140-character limit. Before attempting to abbreviate every word and cleverly swapping letters for numbers in an effort to save space, think about how you can break the message into easily digestible sound bites – similar to how you would prepare for a television or radio interview. This helps to prevent misinterpretation and makes messages easier for other Twitter users to share through retweets (RTs).
Linking Together the Pieces
How does one get across other components of the key message that didn’t fit into 140-characters? By linking people to website content, blog posts and other social media content that tell the full story. This also drives traffic to an organization’s website and helps to grow their other social media communities by pulling in new audiences.
Version B, Version P and Version S
B, P and S? Broadcast, print and social. While having a natural, conversational quality to one’s social media updates is important when building and engaging the community, it doesn’t hurt to have social media-friendly versions of the key message points prepared. This helps to ensure a consistent representation of the brand and reduces the opportunity for mixed messaging. Be sure to integrate these prepared message points with a natural conversation, third-party content and community feedback to prevent a little bit of preparation from turning your online presence into a robotic, one-way conversation.
As companies integrate social media marketing into their organization’s strategic and communications plans, it is important to keep brand consistency top of mind. From ensuring the same logo is used on everything from brochure to social media avatars, to preparing adaptions of key message points that are best suited to various communication channels, one should always remain true to their brand.