Finding your voice. Some companies excel at it and others… well, they’re still figuring it out. Establishing your voice on social media means that your followers will know what to expect from you, and your team will know exactly how they are expected to sound.
Why exactly is this so important? Because powerful voices don’t go unnoticed. Furthermore- it personifies your brand. People will know who you are from the conversations they have with you and will walk away with a strong impression of your company. While most people would agree that voice and tone guides are important, especially in public forums like social media, most of them are a bit lost when it comes to how to get started. Here are a few tips to help you get the conversation started on social media.
Where to start
Step 1: Knowing the difference between voice and tone.
Simply put, your brand’s voice is the personality in your writing. The tone is the attitudes and moods attributed to that personality. Your voice should always remain the same- your tone, on the other hand, will change depending on your customer’s attitude.
Step 2: Knowing who you are, who you are not, and who you want to be.
One easy way to define your voice and tone is to discern who you are against who you are not. For example, you may decide that your voice is human, friendly and direct.
But, to further clarify, you might flesh that out to say your brand’s voice is:
- Fun, but not silly
- Quirky, but not inappropriate
- Helpful, but not bossy
- Influential, but not salesy
Step 3: Knowing your customers.
What are your customer’s attitudes on social media vs other channels? Are they frustrated and reaching out because they need help? Are they looking to be entertained and expecting a hilarious response? Either way, be able to read your customers and thoughtfully anticipate the type of response your team should provide.
Someone might tweet your company and say:
I just received my baby stroller from @babybuginc and I’m in love!
Clearly, this customer is happy and just looking to engage. Given the slight voice and tone guide above, the response should sound like this:
Awesome @MaryMom! Make sure you tweet a picture of your love bug enjoying the new set of wheels!
On the other hand, you might receive the following tweet from a frustrated customer:
The customer service team @babybuginc is HORRIBLE! I’ve been waiting for my stroller for 3 weeks now and I’m due in a few days!
If your team just sticks to the casual voice and doesn’t keep tone in mind- you might end up with something like this:
Dang, @MaryMom! Three weeks? Should’ve chosen that express shipping!
Instead of a sympathetic and human approach, which might sound like this:
Oh no, @MaryMom! That’s not the feedback we like to hear. Please DM us with your order number so we can get your love bug into a new set of wheels, ASAP!
Step 4: Making sure everyone else knows this, too.
Building out a comprehensive style guide composed of writing goals, voice and tone, content types and general guidelines will ensure that the organization and employees are held accountable to brand standards. Having a voice and tone guide at the ready means that as your team evolves, your brand’s personality remains intact.
Is your Social Media Team #SquadGoals? Get a demo, and see how well you’re keeping up with the conversation on social today.
Denasia Pinkard, the Content Marketing Manager at Clarabridge, is responsible for the production of all content from concept to execution. With over 10 years of writing and editorial experience, her specialty lies in communicating the value of seamless customer experiences. She has a BA from Morgan State in Telecommunications, and an MA from UMUC in International Marketing Management. Follow Denasia.