Are you actually swimming in the sea of brands on social media? Not paying attention to your company’s voice is one of the biggest branding mistakes you can make.
There are two separate, but equally important elements to focus on when communicating as a company: tone and voice. Both are an integral part of your company’s identity. They work together but are totally different. The biggest value of voice is to be consistent with your messaging.
The main difference between tone and voice is that tone is ever-changing. In any given situation, you’ll have to adjust your tone to match your audience. For example, you wouldn’t use the same tone when you’re out with friends as you would if you were giving an interview.
The tone is associated with emotion, as it has a lot to do with the reader’s personality. Taking their state of mind into account when interacting will also help you connect on an emotional level.
Figuring out the voice for your brand is a little more involved. One of the first things to establish is positioning. How do you want to be viewed? Is it best for your company to be educational, resourceful, or inspirational? You can even take an expert approach, but still, be conversational. If you don’t know where you stand, here’s one way you can decide:
Review all content (social media, videos, blogs) and be very critical of your work.
What content is unique to you? Does it resonate with the type of voice you want to be viewed in? Separate your ideas into groups with the same type of feel to narrow down your decision.
Another approach is to create a chart to help define how your voice is used in text and visuals. Start by picking a word and making four columns with the following headers: voice characteristics, description, do’s, don’ts. For example, if you want to exhibit expertise, you’ll describe why you feel that way, how you’d want to be viewed (in the industry), and what you want to avoid.
Something worth mentioning as you develop your voice is your writing. How you write is key to the success of your voice, especially positive writing. Avoid using negative language such as ‘can’t’ or ‘don’t’, as they are just deterrents. Instead, use phrasing like “in order to do this, you have to do this first”. Saying you can’t do something just doesn’t resonate well with readers.
Throughout the entire process, the ultimate thing to remember is to always be consistent. As your company changes, so do your tone and voice. Make sure you’re revising and revamping both as your company grows. The way you communicate and how you connect with your customers is critical. Stay consistent and your results will flourish.