March 28, 2014 Filament Social Media Marketing Specialist

How To Define the “Voice” of Your Business

It’s easy to get caught up in social media’s ever-changing latest and greatest, and trying to figure out how to “do” social media well can be overwhelming to say the least. There are no silver bullets. Every question has multiple answers, and every challenge has many possible solutions. The key is finding what works best for you and your customers.

Easier said than done, right? Before you throw your hands up in frustration, we suggest focusing on the basics to better manage what your social media efforts are all about.

We’ve talked about “What?” to say in social media avenues, but a large part of what we say is how we say it. One of the terms we often hear in social media advice circles is voice. Let’s consider the following definition of the term for our purposes:

Brand Voice is simply the quality of the brand’s presence in the marketplace… the

manner in which it communicates its purpose, values, reputation and experiences…”

–Thomas Dawson

 Actually coming up with a definition for your voice is one of the first steps needed to coordinate your social media efforts so you can effectively drive your messaging. Take some time to consider the following:

  • What is your purpose?
  • What are your values?
  • How does your reputation and experience benefit your customers?

Unlike face-to-face conversations, you can’t depend on tonal inflections to relay social media messages. But, you can connect very effectively by communicating your company’s style, the passion and expertise of your team, and how your customers can benefit from your uniqueness.

Decide what topics or messages will be presented on which channels. Maybe you offer how-to tips on Twitter. Perhaps Facebook is the best venue for company updates, promotional events, and offers in which customers can participate. And, maybe you focus on product ideas on Instagram. Whatever you do to market your social media reputation, do it consistently, do it with intent, and keep it current.

The best thing about social media is that you can communicate in different ways to different demographics – just make sure everything works together. One channel can be directed in a more formal manner, and another can show the fun, adventurous side of your company.

Think of three to five words that you would use to define your company, and focus your communication style around those words. Is your biz “young, smart and effortlessly cool”? Do you want to portray your company’s trendy, creative vibe? Maybe you want to offer a more “educational and informational tone.” Need a little inspiration? Take a look at how  other brands define their online voices.

Define your voice as clearly as possible so it will be maintained across the board. Leaving things up to individual interpretation – unless and until everyone on your social media team thoroughly understands the agenda – may leave room for inconsistencies and inappropriate messaging.

When you’ve thoroughly developed your words, terms, and messaging goals, the next step is to gather your teams and connect the dots:

• Coordinate social media, print and advertising teams and initiatives. Meet regularly with other departments to make sure your teams have company-wide information to build on.

• Make sure the individuals posting and tweeting have intimate knowledge of the language needed to convey the appropriate messages. Keep them up to date with what’s happening in other areas of the company so they can present a well-rounded image.

• Develop social media plans that coordinate with your retail messaging. Remember the stat about people needing to have seven interactions with a brand before they buy? Use social media to help make buying decisions easier and convert customers faster.

• “Show and tell” about your products and services, but don’t just reproduce the information that’s already available on your packaging and website. Customers should be able to learn new and different things and feel like they’re getting the latest “insider info” by following your social media streams.

• Provide ideas and offer opportunities for customers to share their stories and experiences with your products or services. People love to tell stories, and one of the best forms of advertising is positive word of mouth. It’s a win/win!

Social media allows us to connect with customers and create communities in ways that traditional advertising and collateral marketing may not. An effective social presence requires thoughtful planning and detailed direction. Once you establish a strong social voice, the potential for growth is endless.

Need voice lessons? The talented team at Filament will be happy to help you hit all the right notes and create social media messaging that’s music to your customers’ ears!

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