Since the dawn of Don Drapers and Peggy Olsons we’ve all been fascinated to find a “brand’s tone of voice”. What does a brand look like? Sound like? Smell like? It’s the invisible qualities of a brand that often draws it to us in the first place, whether it is any good or not is why we stay.
For instance, you’re thinking of a new car to buy, you might never have driven a Honda, or know any model names but you do know it powers dreams. The advert told us so.
In this advert, the actual product is featured for only 5 seconds of the 40-second ad. The rest is copy.
It’s in advertising and brand tone of voice that really creates an identity and until the early naughties we’ve been able to hide behind billboards, glossy magazines and 30 seconds of adverts. Then social came along.
The birth of social media created a new platform for brands to push their tone of voice into the public domain and become, effectively, more approachable. However, unlike any other form of media, there’s an instant vulnerability that companies are now dealing with.
People. Write. Back.
Which is what you want from your audience, engagement! However, while you can schedule all the posts in the world and have a really well thought out, on brand post, when Hillary is asking about your upcoming events or Sandra about your ethical policies, you need to have nailed your tone of voice for a retort.
Struggling to find your colloquial brand tongue? Fear not, try these simple steps to help find your brand tone of voice for social.
Imagine Your Brand Lives
Your brand, company and / or product is a person. Who are they? Where would they go to lunch? What would they watch on TV? Create the person so you really understand them. Do this by bouncing ideas off others until everyone is comfortable with their figurative brand buddy. Start a post-it wall, or have a chalkboard of ideas.
Once you’ve nailed their identity share it with the colleagues, your tone of voice should ooze through everything you do so that the voice becomes action and so on and so forth. Stephanie from accounting or Armin from HR should be able to jump on social and reply as your collective without skipping a beat.
Keep It Consistent
This sounds simple but it’s easy to lapse into the ordinary and the mundane. If someone has taken the time to Tweet you try not to give them a templated customer service response. Remember your brand lives and this is what sets you apart from the rest.