The art of speaking how you speak
What do the most successful social media brands have in common? One of the most underrated factors is voice and tone, an aspect of social sharing that you're likely to appreciate but never maybe notice. Laying the groundwork to establish a consistent voice and tone has a huge impact on the emotional connection to your audience. And emotions are huge! Come learn the simple way to get going with a voice and tone strategy for your social sharing. :)
Reading time: 2 minutes
When a news event hits or a link is shared, different brands respond in different ways. Positivity. Expertise. Helpfulness. Sarcasm. Curiosity. Etc.
The way you write on Twitter, Facebook, and others goes deeper than just the words you use.
It all starts with voice and tone.
If you wish to create a solid foundation for all future social media strategies and campaigns, begin by establishing your voice and tone.
The definitions that make the most sense to me are the ones that note a difference between voice and tone. Gather Content breaks down the difference in this way:
- Voice: Your brand personality described in an adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive, cynical, or professional.
- Tone: A subset of your brand’s voice. Tone adds specific flavor to your voice based on factors like audience, situation, and channel.
Essentially, there is one voice for your brand and many tones that refine that voice.
Voice is a mission statement.Tone is the application of that mission.
There are many helpful exercises to discovering what your voice and tone should be. (It's likely you already have a great sense for this, even if you've yet to explicitly state the specifics!)
One of our favorite ways is to ask certain questions that can help kick off some ideas. Start with questions like these:
- If your brand was a person, what kind of personality would it have?
- If your brand was a person, what’s their relationship to the consumer? (a coach, friend, teacher, dad, etc)
- Describe in adjectives what your company’s personality is not.
- Are there any companies that have a similar personality to yours? Why are they similar?
- How do you want your customers to think about your company?
At the end of this exercise, you should end up with a handful of adjectives that describe the voice of your marketing.
And keep in mind: Voice is the mission statement; tone is the implementation of that mission.
Once you've come up with some adjectives that define your voice and mission, you can try out a few examples of the way that your tone can be heard on social media. MailChimp has some amazing examples of this if you're looking for inspiration. :)
Further reading: How to find your social media voice
Establishing a voice and tone early on with your social media marketing is one of the best things you can do for your long-term results. Find the adjectives and ideas that best describe you. Figure out how these might look in a tweet or a post.
Your future followers will love this new focus! And it will even help streamline the time you spend writing updates, especially as you learn the ins and outs of your voice and tone.
Today's action item: Come up with 5 to 10 adjectives that describe your voice. Come up with 3 examples of what this might look like in a social media update.