You need to do this to start developing your social media voice and tone. If this feels murky, this post might help to understand exactly what voice and tone mean.
Voice: What does your brand consistently sound like on social media? Another way to understand this is to think about your brand’s personality. Tone: This is the inflection you apply to your voice (ex: excited, serious, happy, etc.).
1) Ask Questions
Begin by asking yourself these questions:
- How do you want your brand to sound like for your audience? Serious, happy, moody, fun?
- What’s your brand’s tone?
- What’s your brand’s style?
I started with a series of questions and for good measure. These are questions you should be asking yourself and considering. By thinking about these questions, you’ll be better prepared to put your brand’s voice and tone into place. If you don’t know which questions to ask—research the idea first with keyword research tools like SEMRush, Answerthepublic or Moz.
It’s important to present your brand in a way that’s relatable to your larger audience.
2) Take notes
Your brand’s style isn’t a set of rules you have to follow. Instead, you’ll have to think about what it looks like on social media, in your notes, and in person.
Take a look at what your brand is saying, what topics it’s discussing, what questions it’s asking, and what it’s covering. It’s not all about what you say (though, yeah, we all want to be a good “social media person,” right?). It’s also about what you don’t say. It’s about the stand you take and refuse to take.
If unsure ask your team. They are there to give you insights, not just talk about what to do next time you see you in person?
3) Do a little research
If you haven’t done any research, you’ll have a lot of a hard time understanding the style that your audience prefers above all. Use the tips in this article to help you get a better understanding.
* Did you know who your audience is? What is the demographic, gender, and age?
Do you know what their beliefs are? Do you know what are they passionate about? What are they listening to? What are they reading? What are they watching?
* Did you know what is going to be covered? What are the topics they’re most interested in? What are the people they’re most connected with? What are the things they want to learn or do?
* Did you know what matters to your brand? How will these topics affect your brand’s style? What are your brand’s values, beliefs, and goals? How will you use this information to your advantage?
* Did you know what will be covered in your content? What are the topics they are most interested in? What are the people who are reading your content?
Most of these questions have easy answers with Facebook insights. If you have a Facebook page, you will have access to the insights tab that offers clues on what your audience on Facebook likes, what their ages and interests are and where do these interests intersect.
These questions will help you get a better understanding of how to communicate with your audience, and who they are. It’ll also help you understand how to respond as a brand. You might decide to talk with your team about the responsibilities of different team members when you’re interacting with an audience.
Beer maker Samuel Adams keeps it casual or serious throughout all of its posts never veering to fun or humor.
4) Analyze your audience
Once you’ve completed your research, it’s time to narrow your audience.
What are your brand’s goals? What do they care about? What do they need from you?
That last question might be the hardest to answer. To do this, you’ll need to figure out what your ideal audience cares about, what their goals are, what their pain points are, and what they might be struggling with. You’ll need to figure out how you can provide the answers that align with those questions.
5) Select your tone
Once you’ve defined your brand’s style, you’ll need to decide on how you want to communicate. Your brand’s tone needs to be consistent across all platforms — blog posts, social media, and emails.
You can use a combination of formal and informal tones. For example, you might use a formal tone when writing an article for your blog post. You could use a playful tone in your emails and social media posts. Ensure that the people who you hire out for posting social media content are well-versed with the tone and style of posts.
This post is an example of how you might use a formal tone in a blog post. Paddy Power is a great example of a brand that uses cheekiness and humor as its brand voice.
In fact it is part and parcel of their entire persona. Their PR head Ken Robertson changed his job title from PR head to head of mischief. Sounds something off the Harry Potter series but you get my point. This irreverence and humor is what characterizes and differentiates the brand.
In a tweet linking to a podcast, they tell the story of Ruby Walsh’s winning King George and making it on time for the flight home.
You need to choose the tone that best reflects your brand’s voice and personality.
For example, you may want to show off confidence.
6) Is your brand being genuine?
It might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to understand how your brand’s personality is real, not fake.
Don’t let your personality be a facade — make sure your personality is genuine. For instance, if your brand claims to be the “best”, that’s not what your audience expects. Don’t make claims you can’t back up. Don’t let your statements just hang in the wind. They want to hear about you as a successful marketer and business owner.
Here’s an example of a brand that exudes genuineness in everything it does
It’s The Honest Company.
The Honest Company by Jessica Alba specializes in baby and personal care products that’s free of toxic ingredients.
That’s the voice that gets reflected everywhere from their site to social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The voice can be seen and heard.
They’re proud of their voice and aren’t shy of spreading it around.
7) Are you delivering on what you promise?
You’ve created a brand personality and developed a brand voice, but that doesn’t mean your audience will automatically buy in to the message.
You need to want them to buy into that personality, too.
See, one of the biggest ways brands fail early on is overpromising — and failing to deliver.
Each post has a goal. At the beginning of each post, ads, and promotions, you need to make sure each post is aligned with that goal. That includes the post’s title, which can be a direct result of the goal.
8) Are you sharing your own content?
When you’re creating your brand personality, you need to share the right kind of content that’s relevant to your audience. That doesn’t mean it always has to be your content alone. It can be from others too.
You need to make sure that the content you share is reliable, worth sharing, and relevant.
Whenever you post content from your brand’s content to your social media channels, be sure to credit the original publisher.
You can use platforms like Medium, Facebook, and LinkedIn to share your own
content. You can also tag other publishers in the post or tag people when you share this content to extend its reach online.
9) Are you creating content that your audience wants to read?
Your audience wants to read your content. When you create content that your audience wants to read, they will share it with their networks. They’ll also likely follow your brand’s social media channels and see that you’re sharing information they find interesting.
This is called “blogging your way to social media shares.”
You can also post infographics, and if you have an audience that loves to consume visual content, you can create infographics. If you feel the content will be well-worth sharing, you can post it on your social media channels.
You can also create email campaigns that promote your content as well as your social media channels.
The more content you create, the easier it will be for your audience to share.That’s why it’s important to make it easy for your audience to share your content.
10) Are you using hashtags correctly?
When you’re creating your brand’s personality, you should use hashtags correctly. Hashtags are a great way to organize your audience’s conversations and increase engagement. When you use hashtags correctly, that means staying true to your brand with the hashtags you use. It should be thematic or derive its essence from what the brand is about.
11) Are you being consistent across social channels
Everything you do and share on social media is part of who you are as a brand.
So that means you should present a consistent message online. That won’t be possible if you have three different people posting on different social media channels or three different people posting on one platform.
That… is a recipe for disaster.
Document for a consistent strategy with these questions
- What are the brand’s values?
- What makes the brand different?
- What should others think of us
- How to improve people’s lives
- What don’t we want others to say about us?
12) Are you adapting to channels?
Social media marketing is one term. But that doesn’t mean social media channels are one. You have to adapt your style of marketing based on the channel. Each channel calls for a different type of writing.
Change the wording and styling based on where you’re posting.
For example you may want to carry over the long update you posted on LinkedIn over to Twitter. But, Twitter has a character limit of 140 characters. So you have to be short and deliver the gist of the message in all those characters.
Keep it under 140 characters. Use a link shorterner to keep the links smaller.
On LinkedIn perhaps include updates that are action oriented for best results. The updates should be nothing short of the takeaways you add to blog posts. The takeaways capture the essence of the post and offer actionable takeaways that someone can implement right away.
Yes, those actionable bits that make the most all the more useful.
Encourage conversionsations with questions.
On Facebook you have the luxury of posting longer updates. But to keep engagement and attract it in the first place use headlines that catch attention.
These are the different ways to develop your social media voice. What do you think?