Tone of Voice and Your Brand Identity on Social Media
Define brand identity with a consistent personality by considering the audience, creating guidelines, and adapting to different social media platforms.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. This is a solid piece of life advice that someone probably gave you as a kid. As you build your brand identity, it’s important to identify how you say “it,” too!
Your brand is not just about the visual elements like brand logos and eye-catching color palettes but also about the tone of voice used in all your communications with your audience. It’s important to speak up, authentically connect with your audience, and create a consistent brand voice across platforms so your audience instantly recognizes you no matter where they find you. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of developing a distinct brand voice and methods to help you create cohesive brand voice guidelines to keep your marketing team on the same page.
Don’t Be Shy – Say Something!
You know how sometimes you meet someone who just has a really cool vibe? It could be their style, the hobbies they’re into, or just their general energy. In the same way, your branding also communicates so much about your company to your audience. Your logo’s typeface, packaging design, bright colors, product design, branded products like stickers and t-shirts, brand mascots, and even the design on your old-fashioned business cards. . . these all contribute to the way people feel when they encounter your brand.
But just because someone gives off good energy doesn’t mean you’ll instantly be friends. You typically have to have a conversation, see how that person speaks about the world around them, and get to know them a little bit before you’re sold. The same goes for your brand! Your brand’s visual identity may attract consumers, but what gets them to stay? The way you speak to them—your brand’s tone of voice.
This is why it’s so important to curate the right brand voice and use it consistently across all platforms. Consistency is key in branding, so if you’re whimsical and irreverent on social media but serious and formal on your website, it can be a bit jarring for customers. They might wonder if they’re dealing with two different businesses.
On the other hand, if your tone of voice is consistent and well-crafted, it can help you stand out in crowded marketplaces, build trust with your customers, and create a strong emotional connection with your audience.
Curate the Perfect Brand Voice
Whether you’re in the process of crafting a new brand identity or you’re simply looking to refine your brand voice to better serve your overall marketing strategy, here are some helpful tips to get you started:
Define Your Brand Personality
Before you nail down how you want to speak to your audience, you need to establish a clear picture of your brand personality. This includes things like your brand values, target audience, and overall business mission. Think about what kind of personality your brand would have if it were a person- is it quirky and approachable, or authoritative and knowledgable? Is it super down to earth, or is it more formal and corporate?
If you’re not exactly sure, it can be helpful to sit down with your brand’s graphic design elements and make a list of adjectives that resonate with the feel of your brand. You may use a lot of pastels… calm, minimalist, and crunchy could all be words to describe your brand. Perhaps your logo concept contains lettering that gives off a retro vibe; playful, timeless, or eclectic could be used to describe your brand. Take a look at your current content; does your brand use funny gifs to communicate with your audience? This might mean your brand is quirky, playful, bold, and lighthearted. Consider what a conversation with a customer would look like if these were the words you wanted them to feel when chatting with you.
Your brand design can give you a lot of insight into your brand’s personality. Once you have a clear idea of your brand personality, you can craft your voice to match.
Consider Your Audience
Your brand voice should always be tailored to your audience. Think about who your target customers are and what kind of language and tone they use in their daily lives. If you’re targeting a younger audience, you may want to lean into informal language with a more conversational tone. If you’re targeting more mature audiences, you might want to adopt a more sophisticated or formal tone. But age isn’t the only thing to consider. Try thinking about what’s important to your audience. Are they struggling with something that your product can fix? An empathetic tone may be a great fit!
Look at Your Competition
Take a look at what your competitors are doing and how they’re using their brand voice. You don’t want to copy them, but you can use this as a starting point to figure out what works and what doesn’t work in your industry.
Create a Brand Voice Guide
Once you have a clear idea of your brand personality and audience, it’s time to write a brand voice guide. It’s also essential to have a style guide that outlines your brand’s tone of voice. This guide should include guidelines on the language, tone, and style of your brand’s communications. It should also cover the dos and don’ts of your brand voice. For example, you might have slightly different brand voice guidelines for social media posts, website copy, and email marketing. Be sure to also discuss how your brand handles activism and tough social issues. The overall goal is to create a guide that can be used by multiple different team members and still achieve a cohesive brand identity across marketing channels.
Social Media and Brand Tone of Voice
You’re not at the public library, so this isn’t the time to be silent! On social media, it’s important to be social. Don’t be afraid to share. Why? Because the algorithm is listening.
Social media is an excellent platform to showcase your brand’s tone of voice. It’s a place where you can have real conversations with your audience, engage with them, and build a community around your brand. However, it’s crucial to understand that not all social media platforms are created equal. Each platform has its own tone and style, and you need to tailor your content accordingly.
Over the years, Instagram has made some serious changes to the way comments are displayed. Instagram’s algorithm tends to pin the two most recent comments from verified accounts directly underneath the post’s caption in your feed.
Commonly called a “sticky comment,” this is a prime piece of social media real estate. As users scroll through their in-feed posts, they are also shown two of the top-performing comments.
It gets even better because there is a genius way Instagram uses comments to help users discover more relevant profiles. The algorithm will often highlight comments from profiles suggested as of “interest to you.” It will also occasionally highlight relevant profiles in the “sticky comments” section too.
What’s better than increasing your brand’s exposure with minimal effort?! Even if you aren’t able to regularly post new content, your comments on related brands’ and businesses’ pages may still appear in a follower’s feed and attract their attention.
But with that exposure comes even great importance placed on a consistent brand voice. On social media, you can typically get away with more a cheeky style of communication than you would be able to on other marketing platforms, but be sure it still rings true to your overall brand identity or new followers may be confused when they follow you from a comment only to find out that the brand behind that comment is not the playful brand they thought they were.
Brand Guidelines Template
Your guidelines will be as unique as your brand, but here are a few key elements of a helpful brand guideline:
- Typography and font hierarchy
- Logo Designs and uses
- Brand colors and color uses
- Brand mission and value proposition
- Brand stories
- Brand do’s and don’ts
- Brand tone of voice guidelines
- Brand stances on polarizing issues
First Media’s Omnichannel Approach to Marketing
Creating a well-defined brand tone of voice is crucial for building a strong brand identity, establishing brand trust, and creating a consistent customer experience across different touchpoints. At First Media, we help brands create a cohesive brand voice across various channels and grow their brand presence in a meaningful way. Learn more about how you can partner with First Media today.