This is the second blog of a series called Small Business Social Media for Beginners, which focuses on how to get started on social media or improve your existing social presence. Our first blog focused on creating a social media strategy, an essential step that many miss.
This blog will focus on another often overlooked topic: establishing a social media "voice." It's important to have a consistent voice and brand when creating a social media presence for your business. In this blog, we'll talk about what that means, and how to achieve it.
What is a social media voice?
Your voice on social media is essentially your online persona. Although your social media profile(s) will represent your company, you still want a human voice coming through when you post. Just as important, you want that voice to effectively represent your brand, and remain consistent over time.
For instance, you (generally) wouldn't want to adopt a playful goofy tone in some posts, but a somber, serious tone in others. Read on to learn about how to establish an appropriate voice for your business, and how to set standards to ensure consistency.
Creating your social media voice
To begin creating your company's social media voice, start by thinking about your company, industry and customers. Do you work in a highly technical or regulated field, which would impact how and what you post? Or maybe you sell primarily to millennials, which might come through in your voice.
As you're thinking, start writing words that you feel describe your company and the type of voice and tone you want to portray. Example words might be: fun, playful, laid-back, sarcastic, straightforward, technical, serious, educational... the list is endless. Create a list of several words that you feel represent your brand appropriately.
I also suggest creating a list of words that do not represent your brand. This might be the opposites of the words in your first list, and/or might include specific things you want to avoid, such as being too playful or too serious.
Establish some standards to ensure consistency
Your social media presence should have a consistent voice, so you want to develop loose standards to help you (or anyone who posts on your behalf) maintain that consistency. Here's a simple process to create those standards:
- The lists you created in the last section will get you started. Be as specific as possible with your words to describe what your voice is and isn't.
- Make a list of the types of content you intend to post. This will give you direction and help you stay consistent. Examples might include: motivational quotes, educational articles, pictures of your product/office/staff, videos of events you attend, quotes from other industry experts, FAQs, etc. This isn't set in stone, but creates a good framework for you to remember what your brand represents and how you portray it online.
- Also make a list of any content types you do not want to share. For instance, maybe you don't want to share motivational quotes or more "fluffy" content. Maybe you want to avoid anything overly technical or legal. It depends on your specific brand.
- Finally, write some examples of what your voice does and doesn't sound like. Try to create an example for every describing word in your list from #1. This prevents ambiguity and makes it easier to conform to your standards.
As we mentioned earlier, all of this is a loose framework, not necessarily set in stone. Your voice will likely evolve the longer you've been on social media, or as your goals or direction shifts. However, starting with these standards will help you maintain consistency and best represent who you are as a company.
Want more guidance on getting started with social media? Be sure to check out this online course on social media for beginners, which covers getting started, finding your voice, what to post, how to simplify the process and more.