Anyone can have a presence on social media, but what separates a successful brand from the rest is its ability to create an online presence with a unique personality and voice. Every post, tweet or snap is an opportunity to cut through the noise, influence audience behaviors and shift customer perspectives. Your voice is a reflection of your brand’s core values and culture, and it has the potential to strengthen the connection between your audience and the products or services you offer.
Discovering your voice — the essence of your brand — happens when design, color, typeface and messaging combine to create an online personality unlike any other. Here are four tips to help you build a brand voice that resonates with your audience and keeps them coming back.
When developing a brand voice, start with a list of “we are, we are not” statements. You might say something like, “We are intelligent, not technical” or “We are witty, not rude.” You can do this at any point, whether you’re just diving into the social space or you’ve been plugging away for years. “We are, we are not” statements help define your voice and create boundaries for content creators on your team.
Do you have a brand promise? If so, take its values and let them shape your social messaging. If you don’t already have a brand promise that you use internally, a simple list of core values or “why” statements is a great starting point to help develop the voice you want to convey externally.
You only have so many characters to capture your audience’s attention on social media. How you say something may actually be more important than what you say. Brands can make the biggest impact with just a few well-chosen words or a super short video. Whatever the tone of your brand voice — humorous, intelligent, adventurous, etc. — communicate it immediately and consistently with every piece of content you create and share.
Your voice is the authentic personality of your brand online. Think of your brand as a fictional character. Develop personality traits and describe your brand’s behavior to help you find a voice that is uniquely yours. Ask yourself questions like, “Who would my brand be if it was a real person?,” What would it sound like?,” and “How would it interact with other people?” Consumers want a relationship, not simply a transaction. They want to know that you share their values, understand their motivations and are invested in their lifestyle choices.
Influencers — who use social media to position themselves as experts around a certain topic or industry — aren’t going away any time soon. If it’s not already, influencer outreach should be a core component of your brand’s social media strategy. Used correctly, influencers can be an extension of your brand and help dramatically expand your reach. Take some time to search and follow relevant hashtags or keywords, and you’ll likely find people who are already speaking your language. (Don’t waste time engaging influencers you don’t share your core values or speak with similar convictions.) When you find influencers who are a good fit, reach out and start a conversation about partnership opportunities. Influencers can help humanize your brand and keep content fresh in ways that weren’t previously possible.
With so much noise, it’s hard to stand out online. Don’t give your customers any reason to unfollow you or disengage. Instead, create a voice that is unique, relatable and rises above the rest.