Your brand is the physical representation of your small business’s values, mission, and personality. It typically takes shape through your logo, fonts, choice of imagery, and language across both print and digital marketing materials (i.e., business cards and websites). However, as the world quickly moves to a more fast-paced communication style and where social media is a requirement for small businesses, identifying your brand voice on social media is a must.

Brands that accurately hone in on a consistent brand voice for their social media accounts quickly build followers, establish trust, and have stellar engagement rates. Today, we’ll discuss how to find your brand voice and succeed on social media.

What to do if you have an established brand voice

This is a great starting point when trying to find your brand voice for social media. Your brand voice is something that is carried throughout all your marketing assets and helps create a recognizable tone of voice for your business. On social media, a more casual tone and conversational feel are preferred, so tweaking your brand voice for social is necessary.

If your brand voice is highly cultivated and identifiable, add a human element to your social media commentary to incorporate the personal feel followers look for. In this instance, consider your social media voice as a brand tone, which is a context-dependent spin on your brand voice. It’s related to your brand voice, but is noticeably different from your mass communication (direct mail, website content, or flyers) language.

Need a visual? CoSchedule developed the following diagram to show how your brand voice and tone come together to form the perfect social media voice.

image courtesy of CoSchedule

Try answering the questions in each quadrant and your social media voice will start to come to life.

As you identify the nuances between your brand voice and brand tone, remember that being genuine will never lead you astray. Audiences respond to honest and candid language, so don’t be afraid to start with what feels right and build your tone from there.

What to do if you’re starting from scratch

It’s OK if you don’t have an established brand voice for your business! Use this exercise to dig into what differentiates your brand from your competitors and create a voice that makes your brand noticeable on social media. Think of your brand voice as your social media personality, and a way to mold your audience’s opinion of your business.

If you’re unsure where to begin, use the following three business priorities as your guide to navigating your brand voice:

Your organizational culture

Whether it’s formalized or not, your business has a culture all its own. You have a mission statement, business values, a brand promise, and ideals that inform every decision and action. It only makes sense to reflect your culture in your social media communications.

Your community

Your customers and local (or virtual) community speak in a specific way; use their cadence, lingo and vocabulary to craft your brand voice. If you are in a niche industry – such as a bakery or online craft store – look to your customers and peers and study their tone of voice. You want your audience to feel like you know them and literally speak their language. Developing a brand voice that comes across as their peer or an approachable expert is a way to stand out and get your social audience’s attention.

Your conversation

Lastly, your business is (or will be) active on social media. But why? Ensure your social media presence is valuable and worthwhile to your followers. Delineate what you’re bringing to the social media table, so to speak. Are you providing industry expertise or educational information? Are your social accounts a place for one-on-one support? Once you have determined why you’re on social, your brand voice will become much clearer.

Whether you’re starting anew or building on an existing brand voice, everyone can use assistance in perfecting their social voice. Gather Content created a great model for identifying your tone of voice on social media. Simply fill in the circles below and you’re on your way to building the best brand voice for your business.

image courtesy of Gather Content

Once you’ve completed the chart, save it as a reminder as to why you’re on social media and who you want to be for your followers. When a brand uses a consistent voice, it breeds trust and becomes instantly recognizable. Having this visual cue will keep you on message and on brand when on social media.

Bonus Tips

Try these three tricks for embedding your brand voice in your social media:

  • Create inside jokes and knowledge between your brand and your readers
  • Start or end your social posts in the same way (i.e., specific hashtags)
  • Develop brand-specific lingo to really bring out your brand’s personality

Remember, social media is meant to be fun and informative, so don’t stress too much about getting it right from the get-go. You can always refine your voice as you see how people respond to your posts and captions. With these helpful tips and tricks, your business is on its way to developing the best brand voice for social media.