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How to Nail Your Brand Voice on Social Media

Our Haiku for brands on social media:

Please craft a voice
Be a presence in the world
Build trust and have fun

Now that we’ve said it simply, let’s get into the most important part of your social experience. Beyond dynamic graphics and punchy videos, your brand’s voice is key to establishing a presence on social media and fostering strong connections with your followers. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it, when you say it, and the emotions and motivations behind everything you share. If you haven’t yet established a voice for your business, you’re in luck. We’ve got a step-by-step guide to determining your brand voice.

What is Brand Voice?
Your brand voice is how you communicate who you are and what you believe in as a collective organization. It’s your online representation, bringing the non-tangible to life. It’s the personalization, personality, and care in every touchpoint that you communicate with customers.

Voice vs. Tone

Voice is who we are and what we believe in. It’s the non-negotiables. Our passion, our heritage, and our hopes for the future wrapped up into a single entity.

Tone is how we show up in different contexts and conversations. Our beliefs never change, but we express different parts of our personality based on who we’re talking to and who we’re talking about.

Identifying your brand voice will ultimately:

  • Give you focus for your communication
  • Provide structure for delivering your brand message
  • Ignite underlying human connection and understanding of your brand

How to Establish Voice

Start things off with a good creative exercise to get in the right frame of mind. Pick a brand you love and assign three adjectives to describe them. Some examples might be:

  • LUSH: fresh, handmade, cruelty free
  • Netflix: witty, relatable, fun
  • Patagonia: eco-friendly, impactful, comfy
  • Jim Henson: whimsy, empathy, togetherness

See where we’re going with this?

Next, develop an in depth persona around the brand’s users.

  • Are they family oriented?
  • What climate do they live in?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • Where would you find them on the weekends?

Use this information to build a persona and humanize the brand, tapping into relatable pain points and achievements that can resonate with your audience. 

How to Convey Voice in Social Media Communication

Nail your tone and voice throughout everyday engagement on social media based on the persona you’ve created and the company brand guidelines you should have set in place. Determine what that means in terms of how you want your brand represented and the goals you’ve set.

For example, here are three types of voice that we all instantly recognize on social media:

  • Themed voice: Wendy’s — reactive engagement with a consistent tone of voice
  • Personality voice: Dictionary.com — helpful and cheery, but always relevant in literary and popular culture topics
  • White glove butler voice: Chipotle — focused on customer service, seeking to resolve user issues

Although each successful brand is unique, they all share a common theme: They use a brand style to convey their tone and voice. Use this style in your social copy to keep posts and engagements on brand, fresh, and culturally and socially relevant.

Acronyms: The Unofficial Internet-Speak Starter Pack

Acronyms specific to your company are a great way to reflect company culture, especially if you’re taking an informal approach to social media. Internet language can enhance the user experience. They appeal to a younger community and lend to a more natural feel of ease and relatability to your audience, versus a stiff, more formal language. 

Here are a few of our favorites to get you started.

  • IFYKYK: If you know, you know
  • ICYMI: In case you missed it
  • TBH: To be honest
  • FTW: For the win
  • TIL: Today I learned

Hashtags

Hashtags are the bread and butter of any social media communication. In addition to amplifying reach and organizing common thoughts, they help specify the emotion or intent behind someone’s message and can provide additional details. Like emojis, they can also help clarify sarcasm.

Punctuation and Capitalization Standards

Although grammar and spelling can, in certain instances, be somewhat relaxed on social media, it’s important to keep consistent punctuation and capitalization throughout. If your company is a high level B2B or a government agency, it would be ideal to limit exclamation marks and all caps to only when necessary. Punctuation can determine how a message is interpreted, OR IF YOU ARE YELLING THAT THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE.

Here are a few more examples to think about when defining punctuation standards in your social media voice:

  • Decide whether exclamation marks or emojis are preferred over periods.
  • Choose whether you’ll add a period in addition to ending a sentence with an emoji. If you want to be casual, using an emoji as a punctuation is common practice.
  • Use exclamation marks for celebratory or thankful moments. (Congratulations! You did it! Thank you!)
  • Determine guidelines for how to use all caps to show excitement. (“NO WAY! We 💙 that!” or “We LIVE for that!”)
  • Create guidelines about where not to use capitalization to keep the tone on social media more casual.

Your tone of voice will spell out exactly how your brand is executed through all forms of communication. Take the time to run through the tips presented above and compare them to your current social media brand voice. With a bit of planning and insight, you’ll soon have all of the elements in place. 

ModSquad’s social media strategists manage these and many other vital elements of many of your favorite social media feeds. If you’d prefer to leave things to the professionals, connect with us here.

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