3 Tips for Social Media Tone

Your company needs more than a mission statement to attract customers. You need a personality.

That’s because commerce these days is less about dollar signs and more about relationships. We buy from brands we like and trust. In fact, emotional engagement matters even more in loyalty surveys than customer satisfaction.

However, people don’t bond with robots. To create authentic connections, you need to humanize your brand. The best way to do that is by cultivating a distinctive tone of voice on social media.

These tips can help.

1. Know Your Brand’s Personality

    Competition is fierce. A million other products and services could capture the interest of your audience, so what makes you different? That’s your brand message.

    How you deliver it is your tone.

    The first step in developing a memorable voice is to know what you are and what you’re not. Many marketers tackle the question by drawing up a list of adjectives about the company. Sure, the usual descriptors will come to mind first: “professional,” “reliable,” and the like. Don’t stop there. Keep digging.   

    Think about what your founder is always saying or how your product development team approaches new ideas. Does the company have a whimsical, yet purposeful vibe? Smart, but informal?

    Once you’ve compiled a few linguistic boundaries, Forbes Communication Council suggests asking questions like these:

    • Does this voice reflect our values?
    • Is our voice sustainable enough to ensure consistency?
    • Is our voice relatable?
    • Are we being authentic and true to our brand?

    You want to be and sound real.

    Need an example? A brand that does this well is Planet Fitness. The company’s low-cost gyms are defined as “Judgment Free Zones,” built for everyday people, and their social media accounts are built to match. By prominently featuring work-out selfies from actual customers, the company reinforces the attitudes that set it apart: positivity, friendliness, relatability.

    Now, Planet Fitness isn’t the only gym in the world, but the company effectively communicates that they’re the only gym like this. And that’s what being deliberate with your brand’s tone of voice can do: shape perceptions.

    2. Show Consistency Across Channels

      One of the most important rules of branding is to remain consistent. Your tone of voice may differ a little, depending on the situation, but overall it should be clear to outsiders that you are one and the same on social media, your brand’s website, and through all other communication. People should be able to recognize you anywhere.

      After all, “Wouldn’t it be odd to connect with a super familiar, warm voice on Instagram and then visit a site that’s cold and impersonal?” asks seasoned marketer Felicia Sullivan. “Your customer would be confused by that kind of bait and switch, and confusion drives brand abandonment.”

      Analyzing all of your customer touchpoints to make sure you’re not pulling a Jekyll and Hyde is good practice. The best brands express personality seamlessly, whether it’s on Instagram or an e-mail from the shipping department.

      For example, popular subscription service Dollar Shave Club publishes informative, slightly irreverent content in multiple outlets.  

      The same tone is expressed on social media accounts, the brand’s web and e-mail marketing copy, and even in humorous “Bathroom Minutes” pamphlets sent with customer products.

      Dollar Shave Club grew from start-up to a $1 billion brand not just by undercutting competitor prices. Others had already tried that. What made the difference, CEO Michael Dubin says, is the focus on building a “brand with personality” that customers could identify with.

      3. Consider Your Audience’s Perspective

        Now that you’ve nailed down who you are, it’s time to put that aside. Remember, you’re not posting content for yourself. You’re posting for other people. And if you want to appeal to that audience, you need to know everything you can about them.

        Using tools like Facebook’s Audience Insights is helpful in researching demographic and psychographic information about your followers. “This can help you determine how you frame your voice and content on social,” marketer Stephanie Purinton writes in AdWeek. “If you discover that your page’s followers are all over 65, creating a lot of meme-based content won’t resonate. Spend some time getting to know your audience, and the ideas for how to speak to them will follow.”

        In other words, take the time to listen.

        With a social media aggregation engine like TwineSocial, brands can easily search all the major social media networks for fan content. (As the experts say, your brand isn’t really what you say it is, but what your customers say it is, so this is powerful material.) Not only is user-generated content educational, but it’s effective marketing, too.

        It turns out one of the smartest things you can do is to invite those who know and love your brand best to speak for you. Research shows that brands incorporating UGC see a 137% lift in conversions and 157% boost in revenue per visitor. That’s because nobody is more convincing to shoppers than other shoppers.

        Few companies do this better than camera manufacturer GoPro. After experiencing explosive growth from a viral UGC campaign in 2011, the brand keeps enthusiasm high by regularly publishing customer content on social media channels.

        Not only do fans appreciate the engagement, but prospective customers also get to see how GoPro products work in real life. This kind of authentic UGC can and should be repurposed all throughout brand marketing, because from product discovery to checkout, customer voices deliver the brand story best.

        Social media gives brands a golden opportunity to connect with consumers like never before. For ideas on how UGC can help you create a more personable tone and develop meaningful relationships in the marketplace, take a gander around the platform or ping us for a complimentary consultation.

        For more ideas on how to promote shared enthusiasm around an idea, product, or community, check out our solutions gallery. Then, kick off your own success story with a free 7-day trial of TwineSocial. Let us know how we can help!

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