How to Maintain a Unified Tone of Voice Across All Your Social Media Channels
The multitude of online communication channels brands use with audiences - social, website, DM, etc -, has given rise to the concept of an integrated communication. A unified tone of voice has gained importance to keep all brand communications consistent.
Email subject lines, blog headings and social media posts are all opportunities to project the beliefs of a brand.
Concepts like tone of voice or brand voice often pop up in marketing circles, but what do they mean exactly?
Acrolinx explains tone of voice like so:
Tone of voice is how the character of your business comes through in your words, both written and spoken. It’s not about what you say, but rather the way that you say it, and the impression it makes on everyone who reads or hears you.
We can conclude that a good tone of voice makes marketing a more streamlined and pleasant activity for audiences.
The information you give should not only inform the potential customers but also keep them interested in the way it's conveyed.
Put in practice the following recommendations to strengthen your brand’s tone of voice for uniform communication on social media.
1. Stick to one voice
A voice is like a more interactive version of a company logo. It can give your business a personality and make your product more attractive to customers.
Ask yourself: “Who would my brand be if it were a real person?” For example, if you wanted to show passion you would be more expressive, enthusiastic and would shy away from using a passive voice.
Switching from one tone to another has been proven to detract customers from your social media. But this doesn’t mean that one only one person can write your content. Have your team of content creators meet and determine what voice would work best for the company and change it if necessary. Once you have your answer, discuss how to properly convey that message through your social media accounts and blogs.
2. Reinforce your beliefs
Make sure readers perceive you the way you want them to.
You should start by positioning your tone. If you want your company to be seen as a stern or serious one, keep it that way across platforms. Only reply in an informative manner and always be respectful. If humour is your goal, crack a few jokes on twitter and reply to funny comments. If family values are something you reinforce, make sure to appeal to parents and show your customers the workplace is a family.
Customers dislike inconsistet beliefs as much as they flinch at inconsistencies in your voice and they will avoid social media that shows this. By sticking to a coherent belief system, you create similar experiences that drive people to your marketing funnel. Make sure your tone matches the beliefs of your company and is synchronized across all comms.
3. Stay organized
Maintaining the same kind of voice on social media is much easier when you plan ahead. For example, you could create a content calendar to better help you keep track of certain events or holidays and plan for them. Have your social media and blog teams follow certain guidelines for posting content. A written document explaining how you want to be perceived is going to be more effective than explaining it out loud.
Periodically check your brand’s voice and make adjustments to the style as you deem fit. Keep your eyes on your social media pages and blogs so you know how your business communicates. If your social media accounts are well aligned this can lead to more effective marketing.
4. Use your content
Creating content is an essential part of social media marketing. Without any content, you have nothing to offer viewers or readers. Customers shouldn't just get answers from your posts, but also inspiration. Sponsor videos and create blog posts with interesting ideas. You should have people associating good things with your intellectual property.
Use everything you have at your disposal. A proper IP portfolio management can also be used to increase social media presence. Some companies will sponsor things that have very little to do with their IP but are interesting nonetheless. Other companies can leverage their products and insert them as subtle ads in fun and interesting videos.
5. Encourage dialogue with customers
The lines of communication between your social media and your customers should always be open. They crave information about your brand and you should give it to them directly. If they have complaints or questions, customers expect to be heard and replied to, so be sure to do just that. Dialogue can humanize your brand and create a trusting relationship between you and the consumers. Fast and helpful replies will impress them and show them you care.
The internet has made communication with customers very easy. A single conversation on one media platform can just as easily spread to other platforms and be read by many, supporting brand awareness. It’s no longer enough to just be present online, you have to reply to comments both positive and negative to show you are paying close attention.
Creating and communicating content on plenty of channels brings the possibility to stay close to your audiences, but it requires a high level of organization inside the company and aligned work between your teams and creativity for content.
Spreading the brand guidelines and staying true to the brand beliefs is a good way to keep a uniform tone of voice.
Setting the right brand voice isn’t the end of the story. It actually is the starting point since maintaining a uniform tone of voice is a continuous task, especially when new social media or new target markets arise.