Welcome back to the Summer of Social, a Vendasta blog series aimed to provide you with tips and tricks to create the most engaging, relevant, and interesting social media strategies for your clients.
Social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn are amazing tools for your clients to connect with their customers and find new ones. When we get social media interaction right, the results can be instant and wonderous. Unfortunately, if used improperly, social media can spell disaster for your clients’ businesses.
The content that is posted to your clients’ accounts say a lot about their brand and values. For this blog, we aren’t as focused on what you’re saying on behalf of your clients, but with how you say it. Your clients’ brand voice directly affects how their business is perceived.
Want a streamlined way to deliver a client’s brand voice to their followers? Vendasta’s Social Marketing can do just that! Social Marketing is a white-label social media tool designed specifically for agency-to-client collaboration—allowing your team to manage local business’ social accounts in a scalable way. This product will help you to build a fans, find customers, and engage with the community on behalf of your clients.
Earlier in this blog series, we identified why your clients need to be on social media and which networks are best suited for them. Now it’s time to dive into brand voice. By properly identifying this, you will be able to craft social posts that sound unique, but familiar to their followers. It will also help you to be consistent and give a clear understanding of what to expect. Let’s get started!
What exactly is a brand's voice?
Every time you talk, write, design, post, and respond on behalf of your clients you are connecting with others using their brand voice. Brand voice is comprised of four elements. The first is character/persona; Who does your client’s brand sound like? If they were a character, who would they be? The second element of brand voice is tone; What is the general vibe of your client’s brand? The third is language; What kinds of words do your clients use in their social media and online conversations? The final aspect of brand voice is purpose; Why are your clients on social media in the first place?
Why identify your client's brand voice?
Besides needing to maintain consistency for your clients, why is it so important to identify your client’s brand voice? Well, it helps to communicate your client’s brand mission and values, humanizes the brand, and helps to develop trust and rapport. You don’t want your client’s brand to be talking to their followers like they’re money. You want to identify and outline their voice to provide authentic communication. Additionally, followers look for consistency with the brands they follow. If the way you communicate doesn’t achieve this, your client will lose followers.
A well-defined brand voice will allow you to:
- Streamline responses and reactions
- Help make your client’s business recognizable and identifiable
- Help build trust and loyalty through the deliverance of a consistent message
- Help to target your client’s audience
- Develop a unique style and personality
- Build a community around your client’s brand
Voice vs. Tone
Before we continue, it is important to have a proper understanding of the difference between voice and tone. When discussing this topic these words get thrown around a lot.
Voice: the expression of your brand’s personality. This can be explained using adjectives to describe your client’s brand communication style. For example, your client’s brand could be: funny, sweet, or sassy.
Tone: this is how your client’s brand voice is applied. Depending on the number of networks they’re on, it can differ across social channels or even situations.
Essentially, there is one voice for your client’s brand and many tones that help to refine that voice. Sometimes it can be helpful to think of the brand voice as the mission statement and the tone as an application of that mission.
How to identify your client's voice
When it comes to identifying your client’s brand voice, it is important to include them. This way they get to showcase elements of the brand personality that already exist.
Find your adjectives
What adjectives would you and your client use to describe the business? Pick 10. From this list, pick 4 that stand out and have the ability to sum up the brand persona. Not sure which adjectives fit? Think about how you want followers to perceive your client. People tend to follow brands that are honest, friendly, helpful, funny, trendy, politically correct and snarky.
Identify where followers will hear it
Another important step in identifying your client’s voice is to know where it will be heard. Does your client leave comments on customer posts? Or do they respond to every single private message? Most brands showcase their voice in replies, calls to action, captions, direct messages, bios, and visuals.
Develop a brand persona questionnaire
If you’re looking for an in depth way to get into the ‘mind’ of your client’s business it can be helpful to develop a brand persona questionnaire. This consists of a variety of questions that will help identify key stakeholders, important messages, and the ways your client prefers to communicate. Some important questions to ask are: what are your client’s values? What sets them apart from competitors? What reputation does your client want? And, who is the audience?
It’s important to note that on social media most brands tend to be less formal and more relaxed and human. After all, that’s a huge reason why people follow brands on social!
There we have it, another lesson in The Summer of Social is complete! Now it’s time for you to get to work. Take time to strategize and outline your client’s brand voice. Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog in the series where we dive into how to apply your client’s brand voice to writing good copy.
Questions? I’d love to hear how it goes for you!