News Flash: it’s just as important for brands to figure out who they are as it is for them to figure out what they are. Having a personable voice helps humanize your brand, meaning that consumers will be more likely to engage with you on social media.
Whether you’re a spankin’ new brand on the market or your heritage runs a century deep, trends are constantly changing and you should consistently be evaluating your brand’s social media voice.
To help make this process easy and effective, here are four key steps for building a brand voice on social media that cultivates engagement and builds brand loyalty.
1. Creating Your Brand’s Character
The first thing you can do to build a brand character is to learn all about your target market’s social media behavior. Who are they following? What brands do they engage with the most? Once you have these answers, it’ll be easy to decide what personality you’d like your brand to have.
Take Birchbox for example: this subscription box beauty service sorts through thousands of products and makes it easy and enjoyable for beauty buyers to try them out.
Their twitter feed is full of helpful tips, tricks and how-to’s, which positions them as the trendy, smart, helpful friend you always want to be around. Birchbox understands their customers’ pain points so they can easily deliver valuable social content in a consistent voice.
2. Establishing a Voice: Tone and Language
Once you’ve decided who you want your brand to be, you’re ready to start standardizing language and establishing your brand’s tone of voice.
This Instagram post by General Electric is a great example of how a brand can establish a tone of voice on social media. GE is known as an innovator, thought-leader and engineer, so their social media voice comes off as educational and scientific.
Although this in-depth fact about gas turbines may not be appealing to everyone, the GE voice is perfectly aligned with their audience so they’re still able to foster high levels of engagement.
For a strong example of how to establish concrete language guidelines, visit MailChimp’s Voice & Tone guide (which we’re decidedly gushing over). We love this guide because it proves that a brand can take control of their voice across all social media platforms.
MailChimp defines its Twitter and Facebook audience as “loyal users” noting that they feel trust, interest and participation. With content guidelines such as “get to the point” and “feel free to be casual,” MailChimp ensures that their Twitter and Facebook posts will deliver a consistent, on-brand voice every time.
3. Pinning Down Your Purpose
Why does your brand have a presence on social media? How should consumers perceive your brand on Twitter, and how does this differ from Facebook? These are important questions to ask when trying to figure out your purpose – but they’re also some of the hardest questions to answer.
This chart by Stephanie Schwab helps combine character, tone, language and persona into one easily consumable guide. By using straightforward verbs such as “engage” and “sell” in the purpose section, it’s easier to visualize how you want your character, tone and language to inform your purpose.
4. Maintaining Consistentcy
A consistent brand voice is a powerful one. Once you take the time to define your brand’s persona and establish a brand style guide, it’s important that this information is accessible and easy to find by everyone who needs it.
Maybe a new junior designer isn’t sure which fonts to use on a blog graphic, or your content manager can’t find the most recent logo to update your Pinterest profile. How are you going to keep all of your brand guidelines organized?
Brandfolder is a great solution for keeping all of your important digital documents in one place. If you create a separate section for social media content, you can include your fresh new brand voice style guide along with content like blog headers and images. Then, you can invite your marketing and design teams and they’ll always have access to what they need.
Voila! Now you’ve got everything you need to build a captivating social media voice that expresses your brand’s unique personality and voice.
Michelle Polizzi is the Content Coordinator at Brandfolder, a user-friendly tool for brand asset management. When she’s not busy creating content, you can find her bicycling around Denver or catching a live concert. She’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn.