Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Social Media

Social Media

Creating a Brand Voice for Social Media

Creating a Brand Voice for Social Media

With millions of users and countless brands vying for attention, standing out in this crowded space is more challenging than ever. One critical aspect that can help a brand cut through the noise is its unique "brand voice."

0

min read

Dec 28, 2023

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Strategy

Why Brand Voice is Important

Why Brand Voice is Important

In a modern social media feed, countless brands and social accounts compete with one another for consumer attention in a sea of content. Building a unique identity through your social content has a significant effect on the individual relationships your brand will create and the opportunities that develop from a maintaining a consistent brand identity. One of the most fundamental ways to define your brand is through social content is the tone of voice you communicate in written language. Your brand voice is a reflection of personality, values, and the way it relates to its audience. Defining your brand voice and how this will be communicated across your content is an essential part of a brand's social media strategy. A well-crafted brand voice can significantly impact your brand’s messaging and cuts through the noise of social platforms to help you develop meaningful connections.

Creating a Unique Brand Voice

The first step in developing your brand voice is understanding your audience. Conduct market research to gather insights into their preferences, pain points, and expectations. Your brand voice should speak directly to them, addressing their specific needs and interests. In the same sense, your brand voice should mirror your core values and those of your audience. If your brand values innovation, your brand voice might be forward-thinking and dynamic. If your values are rooted in tradition, a more classic and reassuring tone might be appropriate. You should also analyze how your competitors communicate and adjust your brand voice appropriately. While differentiation can be challenging, your brand voice should help set you apart and highlight what makes your brand special. Your communication may also vary on different platforms, so consider how your brand voice can be tailored on each of your social handles to suit the norms of that specific platform.

Evaluating Tone of Voice

Using the different attributes in tone of voice to adjust language expression in content can be done through four dimensions of expression: humor, formality, respectfulness, and enthusiasm. This framework can be used across social media or other digital content for both analyzing and shaping your tone of voice in various lengths. Each of these dimensions represents a broad gradient of communication between each attribute and will ultimately be subjective to individual consumers.

Funny vs Serious

This dimension examines the presence and nature of humor within the content. On one end, there is a playful, light-hearted, or witty tone, aiming to engage the audience with levity. On the opposite side lies a serious approach, where the content is straightforward, focusing on delivering information or addressing serious topics without the embellishment of humor. This axis does not judge the success or effectiveness of humor but rather its intent and presence in the content.

Formal vs Casual

The scale of formality assesses how rigid or relaxed the language and structure of the content are. Formal content adheres to strict linguistic standards and often maintains a professional or traditional tone. In contrast, a casual or relaxed tone breaks away from formal constraints, often adopting a more personable and accessible language style. While casual tones often overlap with conversational styles, they are not synonymous; a casual tone is defined more by its approachability and informality.

Respectful vs Irreverent

This continuum evaluates the level of respect in tone of voice. Respectfulness tone is characterized by a serious and considerate approach to the subject matter, maintaining decorum and sensitivity. Alternatively, an irreverent tone takes a more bold or unconventional stance, sometimes employing humor or satire. This approach is often used to set a brand apart from its competitors, though it’s important to note that irreverence is usually aimed at the subject matter rather than being intentionally offensive to the audience.

Enthusiastic vs Objective

Enthusiasm measures the degree of energy or neutrality in tone of voice. An enthusiastic tone is vibrant, passionate, and engaging, often conveying excitement about the subject matter or product. It can create a sense of connection and dynamism with the audience. On the other end, a matter-of-fact tone is characterized by its neutrality and focus on delivering information in a straightforward, unemotional manner.

Style Guide

Creating a comprehensive style guide will help you implement your brand voice in everyday content creation. This guide should be a detailed document that clearly outlines the nuances of your brand voice, including the tone, language, and style that should be used across your communication channels. It's important to include specific examples and guidelines for different scenarios, ensuring that the brand voice remains consistent across social media and other communication. If you work with a team, training them to understanding and appropriately use the style guide is as important as creating one. Your brand voice should not be permanent and may require you to evaluate and refine guidelines as you evaluate your social media and content performance for relevance to your audience and overall effectiveness.

Creating a comprehensive style guide will help you implement your brand voice in everyday content creation. This guide should be a detailed document that clearly outlines the nuances of your brand voice, including the tone, language, and style that should be used across your communication channels. It's important to include specific examples and guidelines for different scenarios, ensuring that the brand voice remains consistent across social media and other communication. If you work with a team, training them to understanding and appropriately use the style guide is as important as creating one. Your brand voice should not be permanent and may require you to evaluate and refine guidelines as you evaluate your social media and content performance for relevance to your audience and overall effectiveness.

How to Create Brand Voice Guidelines

How to Create Brand Voice Guidelines

Using a formal process to create your brand voice guidelines will help avoid ambiguity and create a useful style guide that will be actionable for your brand's content and communications. Here's an step-by-step guide to creating brand voice guidelines through language exercises that will help you build the content in your style guide.

Create a Mission Statement

Begin by articulating a clear, concise mission statement. This statement should capture the essence of your brand - who you are, what you value, and how you strive to achieve your goals. It serves as a foundational piece in understanding your brand's purpose. Key questions to address include:

  • What are your company's primary objectives?

  • How do you intend to reach these objectives?

  • Who is your target audience?

  • What reputation or image do you aspire for your company to have?

If you work on a team, you can engage with other stakeholders to brainstorming and refine your answers. These discussions will guide the formulation of a mission statement that genuinely reflects your brand's ethos and direction. A well-crafted mission statement should clearly communicate your brand's reason to exist.

Create Message Architecture

Message architecture is the backbone of your brand's communication, ensuring consistency and alignment with your brand values across all content. It's a strategic framework comprising communication goals, usually articulated as a list of terms, phrases, and statements. These goals could range from "friendly and playful" to "professional and authoritative." Start with these prompts to build your message architecture:

  1. Generate a comprehensive list (50-100) of adjectives that resonate with your industry.

  2. Categorize these adjectives into three groups: 'Who we are,' 'Who we aspire to be,' and 'Who we are not.'

  3. Focus on the 'Who we aspire to be' category, grouping adjectives into themes, and prioritizing them.

  4. Enhance clarity with sub-points, color coding, or examples.

Visualize Tone of Voice

Start by selecting descriptive adjectives that resonate with the character and attitude you want your brand to project. These adjectives should capture the essence of your brand's personality and how you wish to engage with your audience.

As a second step, define the level of formality, respect, enthusiasm, and humor in your communication style. This will allow you to compare what was selected in the first and second step, and refine your choices to create a more definitive set of standards on your brand's communication style and language expression.

Create Tone of Voice Guidelines

Effective implementation of your tone of voice should be implemented with clear and comprehensive guidelines. These should be reviewed and updated regularly, particularly in response to audience and platform changes. Providing a clear list of "do's and dont's" can be particularly help in a team setting. This helps ensure that everyone involved in your brand's communication processes has the same understanding of guidelines, which will be critical for ensuring your brand voice guidelines are properly used. Lastly, consider including these elements in your guidelines:

  • A detailed profile of your target audience and their preferred communication style.

  • The nature of interaction with your audience (level of formality).

  • Core values of your brand.

  • Your mission statement and message architecture.

  • Recommended vocabulary and phrases.

  • Words or phrases to avoid.

  • Specific grammar and style rules.

Using a formal process to create your brand voice guidelines will help avoid ambiguity and create a useful style guide that will be actionable for your brand's content and communications. Here's an step-by-step guide to creating brand voice guidelines through language exercises that will help you build the content in your style guide.

Create a Mission Statement

Begin by articulating a clear, concise mission statement. This statement should capture the essence of your brand - who you are, what you value, and how you strive to achieve your goals. It serves as a foundational piece in understanding your brand's purpose. Key questions to address include:

  • What are your company's primary objectives?

  • How do you intend to reach these objectives?

  • Who is your target audience?

  • What reputation or image do you aspire for your company to have?

If you work on a team, you can engage with other stakeholders to brainstorming and refine your answers. These discussions will guide the formulation of a mission statement that genuinely reflects your brand's ethos and direction. A well-crafted mission statement should clearly communicate your brand's reason to exist.

Create Message Architecture

Message architecture is the backbone of your brand's communication, ensuring consistency and alignment with your brand values across all content. It's a strategic framework comprising communication goals, usually articulated as a list of terms, phrases, and statements. These goals could range from "friendly and playful" to "professional and authoritative." Start with these prompts to build your message architecture:

  1. Generate a comprehensive list (50-100) of adjectives that resonate with your industry.

  2. Categorize these adjectives into three groups: 'Who we are,' 'Who we aspire to be,' and 'Who we are not.'

  3. Focus on the 'Who we aspire to be' category, grouping adjectives into themes, and prioritizing them.

  4. Enhance clarity with sub-points, color coding, or examples.

Visualize Tone of Voice

Start by selecting descriptive adjectives that resonate with the character and attitude you want your brand to project. These adjectives should capture the essence of your brand's personality and how you wish to engage with your audience.

As a second step, define the level of formality, respect, enthusiasm, and humor in your communication style. This will allow you to compare what was selected in the first and second step, and refine your choices to create a more definitive set of standards on your brand's communication style and language expression.

Create Tone of Voice Guidelines

Effective implementation of your tone of voice should be implemented with clear and comprehensive guidelines. These should be reviewed and updated regularly, particularly in response to audience and platform changes. Providing a clear list of "do's and dont's" can be particularly help in a team setting. This helps ensure that everyone involved in your brand's communication processes has the same understanding of guidelines, which will be critical for ensuring your brand voice guidelines are properly used. Lastly, consider including these elements in your guidelines:

  • A detailed profile of your target audience and their preferred communication style.

  • The nature of interaction with your audience (level of formality).

  • Core values of your brand.

  • Your mission statement and message architecture.

  • Recommended vocabulary and phrases.

  • Words or phrases to avoid.

  • Specific grammar and style rules.




© 2024 Hypersonic LLC

3867 N Palmer St Suite 211, Milwaukee, WI 53212

© 2024 Hypersonic LLC

3867 N Palmer St Suite 211, Milwaukee, WI 53212

© 2024 Hypersonic LLC

3867 N Palmer St Suite 211, Milwaukee, WI 53212