Consumers will most likely come into contact with a business via social media. Are you using the right voice for your business online?
Social media is an essential part of every business’ online presence. It’s the platform that customers or clients will most likely find you on (other than Google). Which means, you need to retain consistency throughout your social networks. What does this mean for your social media? Well, you need to ensure that the voice, tone and language of your social media match up to your brand. Otherwise, you run the risk of alienating potential and existing consumers.
Whether you use a digital marketing agency or keep your social media management in house, it’s vital that you make sure the voice you use across all your platforms matches up to your business. Why? Because brand consistency makes or breaks a business (especially online), and believe it or not, the tone and style of your writing can do the same. You need to make sure it’s in line with your brand. So, without the right voice on your social media your business might flop online. Luckily for you, we have a guide on creating the right social media voice. Here’s all you need to know!
For the people
Creating the right tone of voice for social media is mainly about research, initially. You need to know everything about who your audience is and who you want to target too. An older audience requires a different tone to a younger one, and vice versa. So, knowing your audience is the first step towards creating the right voice for your social media. Remember, that you’re posting for the audience and not for yourself. Never post things that only appeal to you. It’s about the audience after all, as they’re the ones who make or break a business. Whilst every audience is different, there are some themes that work for every audience.
- Quality Writing
If there’s one thing everyone on the internet agrees on is quality content. Yes, if you can upload HQ images and videos, you’re on track to appealing to a wide audience but captioning it with the right words is key too. It needs to make sense, read right and above all, be error free. Young or old, male or female, it doesn’t matter – as long as the content is of a high quality it can appeal to a vast array of users. Another good thing is to vary your content as well. Make sure it’s all different and all interesting and engaging, for both your audience and everyone – but remember, it’s not about you. Never post content that only appeals to you.
- Engaging Language
Whilst we’re on the subject of making appealing content, you should make sure to vary your content with something that has an entertainment value – for your audience. A lot of the time, businesses are bogged down by taking themselves too seriously – and whilst your turn can reflect the seriousness of your company, using engaging and interactive language and content at times can benefit social engagement. Just don’t go overboard. Remember to remain consistent with your tone but making a joke here and there won’t harm anyone (as long as it’s not offensive).
Discovering your Voice
Your brand’s voice and tone should be defined already – unless you’ve never worked on branding. If you haven’t, you’ll probably be unfamiliar with the actual ‘voice’ of your business. See your brand should have a voice, something that is consistent throughout your website’s content, as well as through the way phones are answered and even emails are signed off. Retaining this consistency is key to maintaining the voice of your brand. Your voice is dependent on the nature of your business. For example, an ice cream shop sounds different to a funeral director on social media, so it’s important to use the right voice and tone in your writing and posting on social. Primarily, you voice style should focus on the interests of your audience. You need to use the right language and tone for your business, audience and scenario too.
Cultivating your voice
So, if you’ve worked on branding or not, you should begin to craft your voice for social media. There’s 4 key parts of forming a voice for social media, and for your business too. These parts are the persona, tone, language and purpose. These will all make up your voice on social media.
- The first, persona, is about imagining your business as a person. How would you describe them? What characteristics would they have? By imagining your business as a person, it can help you begin to craft a voice for social media. Think of adjectives to describe your business.
- Next up is tone. Tone is different to voice. Your tone can vary, and many tones make up your business’ ‘voice’. Tone is situation dependent at times, whether you’re being apologetic or humorous, for example, your tone will vary. The tone of voice is largely scenario dependent.
- Third is language. Imagine your person and a scenario, what language would they use in that situation? Is it in line with their hypothetical personality? Keep your language consistent with the persona and tone of your business.
- Finally, there’s the purpose. We spoke about different scenarios for tone, but your voice needs to have different tones to meet a purpose. Whether you’re writing to provide information or to engage, your voice needs a purpose – otherwise it becomes redundant.
By defining these four parts, you’re on your way to crafting your voice for your brand both on and off social media. The key to creating a voice on social media is to try and stay in line with your brand. Your business’ voice must echo throughout your social pages, website and even internally through your business. As your voice is part of branding, it’s important to remain consistent – that is one of the most important rules in branding.
Developing the right voice for your social media can make or break your business. Just remember, you need to appeal to your audience, you’re writing for them and not yourself. The voice of your business should not only emulate your company but be suitable for different scenarios. This is where you utilise different tones for different situations. Build the 4 pillars of your brand’s voice – tone, persona, language and purpose – in order to create the right tone for your business online.