With every post, phone call, email, image, and video, you’re shaping the way your audience sees and interacts with you. You’re giving your brand a unique look and feel.
We call this your brand voice.
When it comes to your brand voice, you have a choice. You can let it do its own thing, or you can take control and be deliberate about the ways your brand is perceived.
And if you want to build customer loyalty, engagement, conversions and brand recognition among other things, taking control of the way your brand is perceived is going to be one of the most important first steps.
So how do we go about taking control of our brand voice and carving it into something our audience can relate and engage to effectively?
Let’s jump in.
Get Creative and Make a Plan
When you’re creating a voice that accurately portrays your brand on social, you have to be creative. A good way to establish a voice for your brand is to write down celebrities or characters who have traits you admire and then use that list as a guide.
This is not a one-man show, though. So get your team involved! I can guarantee you’re going to be surprised at the responses you get back. And because I firmly believe in practicing what I’m preaching, I decided I wanted to test this out on my own team and share a few of the responses with you. Check it out:
“I honestly feel like we're Tony Stark/Iron Man. We are innovative, smart, and willing to take risks to be the best, e.g S3. And one more because I want a video game character in here: We're a lot like Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn as well. Curious and determined, Sociallyin won't stop until it's learned everything it can about the industry. We might start with one goal in mind, but we are willing to chase answers even if it means making modifications to the original path to get those answers.” - Jacob Isdell, Account Manager
“Walt Disney, because we stand out from the crowd and find ways to do what we need to do to get a job done and satisfy our customers. We don’t settle for less and we use a whole ton of imagination to get where we need to go. I love that.” - Jessica Romanowitz, Inbound Marketing Manager
Carve out a little time as a team to figure out how you want your brand to appear and sound on social media. Whether it’s over a cup of coffee before the day begins or during a team round-table discussion, getting a little insider information from your team can make a huge difference in creating a brand voice that really speaks to your audience.
Be sure to let us know what your team came up with- we’d love to hear your answers!
Examine The Three C’s
There are three important things to keep in mind when trying to narrow down your brand voice and tone. And that’s culture, community, and conversation.
Conversation: What do you want to add to the online conversations around your brand? What are you already saying?
Community: You can use social listening tools to your advantage here. Figure out what the community surrounding your brand is saying and find out how you can add to the conversation to keep the ball rolling and provide insight and information.
Culture: This is all about what you’re doing to stand out from the competition. What are your brand values and how does that directly correlate with the ways you’re interacting on social?
Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What do THEY need? How do THEY want you to communicate? Where do THEY see themselves applying what they’re getting from your brand?
Buyer Personas are an excellent tool that you can utilize in this stage of narrowing your brand voice down.
The Buyer Persona and Brand Voice Relationship
Typing up a list of words that you want your brand to reflect is kind of pointless if your brand isn’t communicating those things to your audience.
And that’s where a buyer persona can come into play.
Marketing departments, customer relations, and product development teams use buyer personas regularly because it gives them an idea of how they can reach their target audiences.
So what exactly is the relationship between a buyer persona and your brand’s voice on social?
We’ve already established that a buyer persona is providing insight into your audience. Their thoughts, their feelings, their needs, maybe even their age, daily life, and general interests.
Social media marketers can use this information when they’re marketing to their target audience. If we know generally when someone is going to be active, what they’re looking for and what needs they have at a certain time, we are better able to put our best foot forward in terms of tone and voice. We want to give our audience a brand they can laugh with, learn from and connect with, among other things.
The Difference Between Voice and Tone
Your brand voice is a very general way of giving your overall brand interaction a name. Your brand’s tone is the more specific instances of interaction with your audience.
Pictures, videos, comments, one-on-one conversations...all of your interaction on this front falls under the “brand voice” category and the way you’re interacting can have a huge impact on your tone.
Are you easy to laugh with? More serious? Fun and educational, or more of a serious and educational type?
Maybe your brand tone is constantly a stick in the mud, or maybe you love poking fun at the things in your industry that don’t make sense.
Whatever it is, make sure its a tone your audience can relate with and one that best suits your brand’s personality and overall voice.
Learn From the Audience
How is your audience interacting with each other on your social? Asking yourself this question and paying close attention to customer interaction can provide lots of insight into the ways they want to be interacted with on your social media.
Here’s an example: Does your audience tend to ask lots of questions and seem to enjoy educational infographics and videos above culture types of content? Providing surveys, FAQs, questionnaires and educational opportunities is a great way to connect with your audience.
If you haven’t thought about asking what your audience wants on social, you should really consider doing so. You can send a short survey to new customers and existing customers asking what words best describe your brand or asking them to write a short paragraph about your brand voice. Just make sure the survey process is easy. If you want to get responses, you need to make sure your audience doesn’t have to jump through hoops to help you. By responding, they’re doing YOU a favor, so make sure you’re keeping that in mind when you’re requesting responses and reviews.
When it comes to helping your business find Its voice on social media, embracing your company values and finding out what your customers really want to hear and see is a great first step.
As long as you are writing like you talk, avoiding unnecessary jargon and providing insightful, fun and interesting content for your audience, your voice is purely a matter of deciding what best suits your brand and your product or service.
What are some specific adjectives that you feel really mean something for your brand? How do you want your voice to sound and what are the steps you’re taking to make it happen?
Have some insight into ways you can help businesses find their voice on social and reach their audience in new and creative ways? I would love to hear your feedback.