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Developing a tone of voice in social media

Today, there are over 500 social networking sites, which is why businesses have begun to dedicate small armies of people from different departments to managing their brand’s online presence, leading to the communication of a fragmented personality.
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So, how do you develop and maintain a consistent tone of voice on social media channels?

Firstly, work out what sort of personality your brand actually has. The most effective brand voices sound like a person, so try to personify your brand and think about how you’d describe them, as well as the sort of thing they would say. Be specific as well – don’t use words like ‘engaging’, ‘honest’ or ‘ethical’ – every brand can claim that, so don’t be vague. Instead, think about words like ‘brave’, ‘persuasive’ or ‘refreshing’.

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Think about the linguistic style of your brand. Is it funny? Serious? Clever? Can you get away with using acronyms or does everything always need to be spelt correctly? Are you about getting fast results? Think about the pace of your posts. Is your brand there to offer advice? Think about your use of language. It might be basic, but getting this nailed at the start of the process means everyone will be on the same page from the word go.

Once you’re up and running, check in with the team responsible for delivering your brand’s social media on a regular basis. With so many channels on which to communicate your message, you will need to ensure everything tallies up. Furthermore, you can’t maintain control over where your content appears when it comes to social media and online channels. Anyone can share what you’re saying, on any channel of their choosing, so ensuring consistency really is key.

Monitor the posts that are getting the most engagement with a social media management tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. They help you keep tabs on what is working and what isn’t, as well as helping you to stay on top of how your brand’s social media voice is being executed. When you start putting your personality into practice, it’ll become clear that some things work better than others. Make a social media chat part of your regular team meetings so you can allocate time to regularly looking at what’s being received well so everything remains consistent.

Rebecca Riley is a PR account manager at White Space Design.

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