Last week, our #SMTLive Twitter chat on all things branding was so productive and informative that just one recap article couldn't do it justice. Check out our recap for the first half of the chat here.
In our first round-up, we covered the basics of what makes a brand's voice work, and what exactly such a broad term even means in practice. This week, we're recapping what our #SMTLive chat participants had to say about how to strategically craft a unique brand voice.
We wanted to know what types of brand voices our #SMTLive Twitter chatters thought worked for other brands on social media. This informative graph from Sprout Social helped identify some statistics around the issue as well.
Comparing and contrasting this graph with our community's responses to the question on Twitter proved to be pretty interesting. For instance, @GregoryTSimpson thinks people favor voices with a sense of humor and compassion. While the graph states that 72% of consumers value humor from a brand, it isn't as important to them as being honest, friendly, or helpful. But perhaps those terms all play into consumers perceiving brands as compassionate as well.
The user @thecr8tivpencil emphasizes "non-salesy" voices. Although the Sprout graph didn't cover that, it seems that many high-performing brands on social have more authentic, human voices. Sharing knowledge and entertaining seem to be in line with what Sprout's graph reports as well.
A: Non-salesy voices. Onces that can entertain or share some knowledge I think.— The Creative Pencil (@thecr8tivpencil) June 11, 2019
The user @frogplum's opinions follow suit: 72% of consumers value humor, and 78% value helpful (potentially educational) content.
A4.— Frogplum Solutions (@frogplum) June 11, 2019
People prefer brands that use real, human voices and interactions rather than promotional jargon. They typically go for brands that have a sense of humor, but are also educational. It's a win-win! #SMTLive
Michelle Roy said people want personal, targeted brand voices. This holds up with the graph from Sprout as well, being that 83% of consumers want their brands to be friendly. It would also make sense that brands who "understand what their audience wants to hear" would become trendy in their brand voice, being that 43% of brands value an on-trend brand voice.
A4: I think people react better to brands that are more personable and who understand what their audience wants to hear ???? #SMTLive— Michelle Roy ???? (@Michelle__Roy) June 11, 2019
Don't mess up
Our #SMTLive Twitter chatters seemed to agree that there are a few fatal branding mistakes that brands can make in terms of their voice. Consistency came up a lot as well.
Q5 - What are the biggest mistakes a brand can make on social media (in terms of their voice/written content)? #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) June 11, 2019
This user emphasized that brand voice needs to be incredibly consistent.
One big mistake a brand can make on #SocialMedia w/ their brand voice is to be inconsistent in the way posts sound and look. Customers view a brand singularly & if multiple people are posting w/ a different voice or visual identity the brand appears schizophrenic #SMTLive— Gregory T Simpson (@GregoryTSimpson) June 11, 2019
At larger companies, multiple people often post from the brand's social accounts. Further, these employees sometimes post and share content written or created by a variety of people to the brand's accounts. Because of the sheer number of people who contribute to a brand's overall voice, especailly in the case of larger organizations, it's important that everyone in the company is on the same page. Perhaps a company-wide style guide could help with this.
A5: The biggest mistake a brand can make with their content and voice is not being consistent. I said it before, and I'll say it again: DON'T CONFUSE YOUR CUSTOMERS. #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/BxRpGgzHcv— Jess (@MoreLove_LessH8) June 11, 2019
The above user further stressed the idea that consistency is key and can be used to keep from confusing your customers. A brand with a solid identity seems to have an equally solid brand voice that customers and target audiences can easily identify.
More than words
It's important to remember that the idea of brand voice extends far beyond something that someone could actually say. Your brand voice includes visual content as well.
A6.— Frogplum Solutions (@frogplum) June 11, 2019
Pictures and video! Visuals are an amazing way to convey who your brand is and what they do. This can also be done through podcasts, livestreams and webinars as these all have the ability to showcase your brand voice through a legitimate voice! #SMTLive
This user suggested a few more types of non-written content that brands can use to up their brand voice game. Podcasts, live-streams, and webinars definitely seem like great ways to go beyond photos and videos in addition to written content for the sake of defining brand voice.
A6: To communicate a brand without words on #SocialMedia I leverage our visual identity with images (happy employees, happy customers, images that represent the promise our brand delivers) as well as consistent colors, look, & feel #SMTLive— Gregory T Simpson (@GregoryTSimpson) June 11, 2019
Consistency applying to everything down to the color scheme feels important as well. Additionally, sharing client testimonials (happy customers) and going behind the scenes to look at happy employees definitely helps with making that brand voice as clear as possible.
Thanks for stopping by for this recap. We hope you enjoyed our extended conversation on brand voice and how to craft your's creatively. If you liked what you saw here, don't forget to RSVP to our next #SMTLive Twitter chat here.