Not to brag but... we had an absolutely fantastic #SMTLive Twitter chat last week. Can you tell how much we loved it?
Can I like this again? ???? We agree. Love getting all these brilliant marketers together every other Tuesday to meet each other and share ideas. Amazing group here. ???? https://t.co/vQS4yK3gHt— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) June 11, 2019
The participation and responses were so informative that we decided we couldn't do just one recap. So our first #SMTLive Twitter chat recap this week is dedicated to what we learned about not only defining what exactly such a broad term as "brand voice" means in the social media marketing space, but also how to concretely execute your brand voice in terms of strategy.
What exactly is brand voice?
— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) June 11, 2019
Within the past few years, the term "brand voice" has been tossed around a lot. Before we really got into the nitty gritty of how to create a brand voice, we wanted to hear what our community thought about defining the term in general.
A1: In my mind, your brand voice is how you communicate your brand's personality to your audience. So which words you chose, your attitude while posting, etc. ????#SMTLive— Michelle Roy ???? (@Michelle__Roy) June 11, 2019
This feels like a great definition. Brand voice is just another avenue for communication with your target audience on social. It's a way to speak their language and become their pseudo-friend through sharing personality traits with them.
A1: Brand voice in my opinion is the way you choose to communicate as your brand with the rest of the world. Some brands' voices are straightforward, while others are more relaxed and conversational or casual. Pro tip: Choose based on your target audience's preferences. #SMTLive— Jess (@MoreLove_LessH8) June 11, 2019
Every brand has a different, specific target audience, and brand voice is one of your company's main tools in getting said audience's attention. If your target audience speaks casually on social, it might be a good idea to go with the "relaxed and conversational" approach, as mentioned above. Similarly, the above user acknowledges "straightforward" brand voices, meant to target a different type of audience. It feels important to get a sense of your audience in order to define your brand voice.
On standing out
Your brand should be exactly that -- branded. Having branded content means that your content is distinct and unique to your company based on what said company's target audience wants to see on social. But how does one make their brand stand out from the thousands of others striving for excellence on these platforms? Our #SMTLive community gave some awesome suggestions on this topic.
A2: I think the key is consistency. Your brand should carry over the voice you've chosen to social media from your website, blog, etc. Don't confuse your customers. Stand out by staying true to your brand's values and offering high-quality content. #SMTLive— Jess (@MoreLove_LessH8) June 11, 2019
This user argues that "the key is consistency." Consistency is often in the details. It could involve anything from keeping your capitalization and punctuation consistent on each of your brand's platforms, to having a go-to color scheme for your visual posts. No matter what being consistent looks like your brand, it's important to never "confuse your customers," according to the above user.
A2: I think you just need to try to be genuine instead of always trying to sell your product or services. Be fun and give your audience some useful content. ???? #SMTLive— Michelle Roy ???? (@Michelle__Roy) June 11, 2019
This user has a great point -- no one likes "salesy" content. Having "useful content" can mean more than just advertising your products or services. Include content that could be useful for entertainment, education, or just aesthetically pleasing, into your social media strategy.
A2. Say it out loud or in your head before you type it! We're a personable and approachable brand so we want our brand voice to be chatty and conversational and represent how we would really talk if you were with us in person!— Zelst (@ZelstOM) June 11, 2019
For the user above, the way they speak sounds like the posts they want to write. Finding a good strategy like this one to differentiate between the tone you want to have for your brand and something a bit more off color seems like a very useful tactic.
Brand voice in practice
While defining what we want for our individual brand voices is all well and good, what can we do to actually put those voices into practice in a concrete way? Our community had a lot of actionable answers to this question, and we'd expect nothing less from these marketers.
A3: Your brand voice is not limited to just what you say/type and the words you use. It also includes the images you post, your GIF selections, and your overall social media aesthetic. All of it should stay true to your brand voice. Again, do NOT confuse your customers. #SMTLive— Jess (@MoreLove_LessH8) June 11, 2019
Say it again for the people in the back: Visual content is beyond important. Any image or visual feature you include in your social strategy can add to your brand voice just as much (if not more) than written content can.
A3: Be personable! Give your followers a glimpse into your workplace with behind the scenes photos of your team members and fun activities you participate in together. ???????? #SMTLive— MyCorporation (@MyCorporation) June 11, 2019
Who doesn't love a good backstage pass? Live-streaming on-brand moments from your company's floor seems like a great way to emphasize brand voice. Even just posting photos or updates about what's going on in your office will feel very authentic to your audience.
A3. We like introducing team members and sharing facts about us so our clients feel they know us a little! We also vary how we display our voice through text graphics as well as written captions. A team photoshoot brings brand voice to life visually instead of stale stock images— Zelst (@ZelstOM) June 11, 2019
If you hire employees who feel on-brand to you, they can become a fun variation of influencers for your company. Introducing team members who, by definition, make up your company's aesthetic and ethos, feels like a great way to emphasize your brand voice.
Thanks for stopping by for this recap. Don't worry, we have a lot more to say about this broad-reaching Twitter chat. We'll be back very soon to continue recapping our conversation on brand voice and how exactly to make it work for you and your's. Until then, don't forget to RSVP to our next #SMTLive Twitter chat here.