Being the voice of a brand in social media is like acting on a stage. Having worked with social media for restaurants, wineries, music artists and many other brands, I’ve learned to take many queues from the basic principles of acting.

Looking at it from this perspective gives insights into how to achieve more engaging conversation and an engaged audience. Here are some tips to apply this mindset in your social-media programs.

1. Stay calm and get into the role. Clear your mind and put your body at ease to get into the voice of the brand, as an actor does prior to performing. Nerves and tension can divert your attention and energy, resulting in messages that are not clearly in line with the brand’s voice. In doing this, your audience may disconnect from your brand's true intent.

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It's always better to be relaxed and authentic in your communications on social media. The best actors and actresses don't force roles but allow everything to come naturally. Social media is the same. Remember, there will always be critics so it is important to remain calm and keep to the voice of the brand.

2. Focus your attention on a conversation with your audience. Similar to a performance, no one fully know what’s happening behind the scenes in social media, but it's important to stay focused when you get on stage. It’s very obvious if your attention is lost. Stay true to the plan and script and be engaging by focusing in the moment. It will help you remain in the brand's voice and enhance audience engagement.

3. Immerse yourself in the brand. Let go of any personal agenda and try to become the voice of the brand. Envision how the brand would react to others, research its marketing and products, and adopt the brand's personality as your own on the social media stage. Don’t be afraid to engage in social media as the brand and draw on brand imagery to create a clearer picture for your social media network. Always stay in that brand's state of mind when behind the keyboard. If you know the brand intimately, it will be effortless. Do not try to engage on behalf of the brand, instead, be the brand.

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4. Everything is public and open in social media. When on your social-media stage, your messages are public and open for anyone to read. As when in front of the camera, your social-media audience can pick up on subtleties that can be easily exaggerated and misinterpreted. You need to create your messages clearly. Creating an engaging, succinct message may require more effort but it allows for clearer and more effective communications.

5. Learn from others. By watching other social-media brands and study what they do with their audience, you will learn a lot. You can see how they create messages or engage with the audience to provide ideas for overcoming aspects of social media you might find difficult. It is not stealing nor is it losing the voice of the brand, but rather studying others from whom you can learn to better your own presence.

6. The little things count. When on your social-media stage, you need to do everything you can to help the audience connect with the brand. Every comment or mention is a new opportunity for engagement with a loyal customer and is worthy of a response, even if the response is just a simple acknowledgement in the form of a favorite or a like. Your response will be noticed and valued by the recipient.

Remember at these times what it’s like to be yourself on social media and the appreciation you feel -- the same is true of your brand's audience when on the social-media stage.

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