Conveying a tone the best represents your brand is crucial – not just in your marketing collateral, but also across social media. If your brand is cute and quirky, your SM voice on will likely be upbeat and conversational. If your brand is high end and exclusive, your tone will likely be quite different. While sweet and charming will work for some, a more direct approach will work for others. ‘OMG’s and ‘LOL’s might be a perfect fit for one brand, but could seem out of place, or disingenuous, for another.
Figuring out your brand voice for social media can be a challenge if you’re just starting out, but that doesn’t mean you should let analysis paralysis stop you from rocking it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Here’s a quick-fire guide to discovering your SM voice.
Know who you’re talking to
As we discussed in our post on Bloggers as Brand Ambassadors, knowing your target market inside out is vital, so get back to basics and examine which demographic you really want to reach out to. This will help you decide which social platforms to utilise – because different demographics can prefer distinctive social spaces – and will also give you some direction regarding the tone that will best resonate with potential customers and clients.
Examine your existing voice
Look over your existing marketing material to see if a distinct brand voice already exists. Check out your web copy, your brochure content and your blog, and get a feel for who your business or organisation already communicates with customers. Keep in mind that social media spaces are often more conversational than official marketing materials, but try not to stray too far from your existing voice to make everything cohesive.
Take note of your competition
If your competitors are doing social media marketing well, take a look at their accounts and get a feel for how they engage with their networks. You don’t need to copy them to a tee – and you shouldn’t – but borrowing a few ideas and changing them to make them your own can be a good way to get the ball rolling.
Want to see some good examples of how big-name businesses develop different voices to reflect their brands and meet the needs of their audiences? Check out this post on Fashion Labels Working it on Instagram.
Your voice can adjust to suit each platform
If you get stuck, think of it this way. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the most informal and conversational and 10 being the most professional and direct, your official marketing material will be nearer the top end of the scale, your blog may sit somewhere around the middle, and your social media might be closer to the bottom end of the scale.
How far your slide up and down that scale will depend on the overall tone you want to convey to represent your brand, but thinking of your voices in slightly more fluid terms can be helpful if you’re feeling locked into a particular tone.
Let your voice evolve
If you’re afraid to dip your toe into social media because you might not nail it on the first post or tweet, remind yourself how fluid and fleeting the conversations on social platforms are. It doesn’t make them any less important as a tool for communication – but it does mean you can relax a little a let your brand voice evolve naturally as you get more comfortable with the medium. Tweets, posts and pics can be deleted, if necessary, so make a start. The more you engage, the more you’ll get a feel for what works and what doesn’t.