You may have decided on the next six months of blog topics and are just getting ready to write the first post. Maybe you’ve been updating your social media accounts occasionally but want to give it a good go now. Maybe it’s something else. But what links these is that you’ll need to identify your tone of voice before starting anything to ensure your brand comes across well on the web.
What is tone of voice though? Well, it’s how you come across online. Formal? Friendly? Funny? There’s a variety of tones of voice to choose from, and it needs to be decided by both you and the business itself.
For example, if you sell fun products it’s probably not a good idea to come across as formal online. It doesn’t really fit your brand. Alternatively, if you’re dealing with something really serious and a lot of your followers are professionals in your industry, maybe a more formal tone is exactly what’s needed. It’s up to you – what kind of online presence do you want?
The next step is deciding how you’re going to achieve this tone of voice. There are a few things to consider.
Are you going to use words such as ‘I’ or ‘we’? You don’t have to of course, but for a more informal content approach might mean it’s a little difficult to write some posts without them. This also extends to how you’re going to address the reader too -directly by using words such as ‘your’, or something different?
Fancy jargon vs. everyday language
If you’re addressing industry professionals, some jargon might be accepted or even welcomed. However, if you’re aiming content to others this might not be the best idea. They need to understand what you’re talking about, and using industry specific terms to people who aren’t in the industry isn’t going to help them. Which won’t help you. They need to know what it is you’re talking about, rather than being confused by strange terms they haven’t heard before. People are smart – they’ll be able to follow a lot. But don’t expect them to understand acronyms or industry terms if they’re not in the industry.
Your content itself
Again, this varies on how you want to sound. If you want people to think of your profiles as ‘funny’, then maybe finding some hilarious videos might help. Alternatively, if you’re trying to be serious, then things such as gifs and memes won’t work so well. It all depends on that overall image you want your business to have, and what content suits.
They’ve become rather a big thing over the past few years on social media. But using an emoji in a blog or on a serious post isn’t the best idea. If you’re trying to keep your feed light, with plenty of amusing content, then go for it. Put a crying laughing face at the end of your Tweet. It only adds to the image of your brand.
Just remember with this one that replacing text with an emoji isn’t always a brilliant idea. Things like Tweets are fine, so long as they’re not too cryptic, but make sure you never do this in longer content such as blog posts as it might detract from your content instead of adding to it.
This one may have been mentioned in a previous blog post, but it’s important to your tone of voice as well. Opinions are great when it comes to developments within your industry, so long as you’re not too vocal or complain too much. For example, if you run a gym, then maybe a new piece of equipment being released or the results of a major exercise study might be exactly the kind of thing you can comment on because it’s relevant. However, if the same gym owner then started voicing opinions on current affairs and the stock market for example, it’s not as useful. It isn’t what people want to see when they look at your online profiles. So keep opinions relevant, and maybe make them into debates to boost audience engagement.
By seeing what your followers think, you can have a conversation with them and hear their thoughts, which could influence business decisions. For example, if that gym owner doesn’t like a new piece of equipment, they might ask customer’s opinions. If they love it, it might be worth considering. And vice versa. It’s a little bit of market research as well as engaging your online community.
Deciding on a tone of voice for your brand is one of those things which is necessary in today’s online world. It helps show people what kind of brand you are, and this in turn is useful for appealing to customers. Having a consistent voice online is something that helps your company to define itself, which can’t be a bad thing.
It may sound a little daunting, but finding your tone of voice isn’t necessarily that difficult. If you’re not so confident about this, maybe just go for a tone which is natural to you – so long as it’s a style customers will engage with. Just make sure it fits with the wording on your website and emails to ensure your brand is strong online.
Still not sure about content?
Teknet Marketing provides a range of services to help with this – such as email, social media and inbound marketing. See a list of the ways we could help on our Services page and Portfolio for more details! Interested? You can email [email protected] or phone 0800 488 0400 for more information.