Your social presence is an extension of your brand – you can use it to reach a community of existing and potential customers and engage with them on a regular basis. That’s the beauty of social media – it’s social, but exactly how do you engage in a way that your brand stands out or leaves a lasting impression?

Here’s a tip: it’s not just the content you’re posting.

One aspect of developing a brand that many brands overlook is their tone of voice. Think about it for a second. How does your brand sound? Go one step further – do you know why?

Try this simple exercise by Wall Street Journal best-selling author, Ann Hadley. You can do this for your website, your social media, your blog – any of your communication channels.

Cover the logo on your website. Do you sound different, unique—like yourself? Or do you sound like everyone else—including your competitors? In other words: if the label fell off, would your customers know it was you?

Your tone of voice is the essence of your brand, something that comes through via your words: both written and spoken. Think of your brand as a person—your logo is like the uniform they would wear, while their character and mannerisms would make up their tone of voice.

Remember, tone of voice isn’t about what you say but, rather, how you say it. The first step is to define what makes you ‘you’ by reflecting on questions like:

  • Why did you start your business?
  • What’s different or special about the way you do business?
  • How do you want your customers to feel when they interact with you?
  • If your brand was a person, how would you describe it? A humourous friend who doesn’t take themselves too seriously? An empathetic aunt full of wisdom? A learned professor whose facts are backed up by reliable data?

Once you’ve reflected on these, write down three to five words that best define who you are. These will be your brand values. Avoid unoriginal, bland or vague words like ‘nice’, ‘authentic’, ‘edgy’. Instead, think about comparable emotive or descriptive words like ‘inclusive’, ‘steadfast’, ‘rebellious’. This is where a thesaurus comes in handy!

The next step is to flesh out those brand values by adding more detail and framing these ideas in a practical context. If one of your values is ‘delightful’, what does that mean? In what way does your product or service bring joy to your customers? If your brand is a ‘rebel’, what specific principles does it stand for or against? Jot down at least one specific example next to each brand value.

Finally, have a copy of these brand values handy, so you can refer back to them before you post. This is especially helpful if you have multiple people managing your communications, as it ensures everyone is on the same page.

The best part? Your brand’s voice remains consistent and before you know it, you’ve created a recognisable personality that your target audience wants to interact with – and maybe even prefers over your competitors.

Need help identifying your brand’s tone of voice. Get in touch 🙂