How to Determine Your Brand Voice on Social Media

Photo Credit: @ozgurdonmaz

When you put your business on social media, it’s like walking into a room of clients, prospects and referral partners, and talking about your company. What you say matters. And, you never know who’s listening.

So, before you type your first post, it’s important to set some guidelines for how your brand communicates on social media. Here are 4 elements you must understand when crafting your company’s voice.

Brand Background

Think about the history of your brand. Why and when did the company start? What need does it fill in the marketplace? What makes you different from your competitors? In order to begin to craft your voice, you must understand the context in which your brand exists in the industry.

Start to think through ways to tell your story that emphasize your company’s background and experience. How can you highlight that history on social media? In order to provide a rich experience for your fans (and customers), you need to be able to express the things your company brings to the marketplace – in a way that’s engaging and not salesy. (Think bedtime story, not infomercial.)

Brand Core Values

What does your brand stand for? Make a list of the words that you would want people to associate with your company. Knowledgeable? Reliable? Fun? You need to be able to communicate these values to your audience.

Feeling stuck? Check your company’s mission statement for clues… or dig out some customer testimonials. You might find that certain qualities are mentioned again and again by the people that are happy with your work.

Brand Territory

For some companies, this may be a geographic question – but it doesn’t have to be. It’s more about identifying the areas that your brand competes in. Who needs your services? What problem do you solve? Go beyond a list of your service offerings, and really try to look at the landscape of your industry. Who hires you? Why do they pick your company?

Once you understand how you help people, you can look at other types of companies that play in that same space. How are you similar? How are you different? And most importantly, how are you going to communicate those things to your audience?

This one is the hardest for most business owners. On social media, you will engage in conversation with your clients and prospects. That means you will have to find a human element in your interactions. So, you need to know the character traits of your company in order to properly frame that communication.

Think of it this way: If your brand were a person, what would they be like? Is your company a man or a woman? How old are they? Are they serious and informational… or fun and friendly? The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to craft your social media content.

Now, take it one step further. Does your brand use contractions? How about slang terms? Do you say ‘I’ in your posts, or ‘We?’ This might seem silly, but when customers are communicating with you online, they are building that ‘know, like & trust’ factor. They need to be able to recognize a consistent and predictable voice in order to feel like they are really connecting with you.

Once you have all these questions answered, take a look at everything you’ve come up with. Some themes will start to appear, and that’s the information you need to be able to define your brand voice.

Now, all that’s left to do craft content that tells your story with the intention and personality you’ve laid out. This will take time, but once you’ve mastered it, you may find it changes the way you look at the writing on your website, your brochures and other marketing materials. If the voice you’ve discovered isn’t consistent across everything your company puts out, it may be time for an update!


Want more social media tips?

Connect with us on Facebook.

Follow Katie Wagner:
Katie is the President of KWSM. Before opening the agency, she spent more than 15 years as a journalist, working for CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN and National Public Radio. Katie works with clients across the country and is a popular public speaker. Read More

3 Responses

  1. […] falling short. Audiences expect professionalism in grammar from a brand, no matter how casual the voice of your brand may […]

  2. […] you’re struggling to find your brand voice, don’t fret! We’re here to help. And for more information about all things social media, follow us on […]

  3. Real Talk: How To Ensure Your Brand Has An Authentic Voice - BrandCrap

    […] being able to successfully navigate some healthy back and forth on social media starts with a brand understanding its brand voice. This is the way a brand talks and expresses itself, and it’s one of the key defining factors of […]