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Hitting the Right Notes on Social Media

09/06/2015 13:14:10


Hitting the Right Notes on Social Media

As we’ve previously discussed in our Guide to Building a Tone of Voice, the words you choose and the way you use them will have a direct impact on how you communicate with your customers. Choose your company’s tone of voice wisely and not only will you succeed in creating effective content (whether it’s for business cards, leaflets or web content), but it’s a brilliant way to set yourself apart from your competitors and really personalise your brand.

So why is getting your business seen on social media so important, and why exactly is the right tone of voice in this area so crucial?


Being seen on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ means your business can put across its more human, personable side. You can engage with your customers in real time and build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with them.

Persuasion is key

Any posts you upload to your social channels should be informative, entertaining and, most importantly, persuasive. Yes, it’s fine to include commercial updates and show off new products, but posts should also encourage the user to take action - there should be some kind of incentive included or a starting point to a conversation.

Innocent use a warm and friendly, yet distinctive tone of voice on their Twitter page. They are a fun brand and their values are instantly reflected in the type of language they use and what they Tweet about. Take a look at the following posts:

While the first has the potential to spark interesting conversation about the statement, the second goes one step further, and provides followers with a call to action – either way, users are talking about the brand.  

Be open and honest

Transparency can be a wonderful thing for businesses on social platforms, and writing in an open and honest manner will show customers that you can be trusted. Encourage feedback from those who have recently used your products or service, whether positive or not, and be seen to quickly respond and take action if needed. Consider giving customers behind-the-scenes access to the business with videos, for example, or even introduce the team through Google Hangouts.

Look up: McDonald’s took a risk – that paid off – with its ‘Our Food. Your Questions’ digital platform in Canada, in which they faced consumers’ toughest questions about their food.

Keep your voice consistent

Familiarity will mean your customers feel comfortable. Be sure to keep your tone on social media platforms consistent with the brand they already know, and fans and followers will be more inclined to contribute user-generated content.

Don’t forget who you’re talking to

It might sound obvious but remember your audience’s characteristics when adding any content – you need to appeal to them after all. Be careful not go too far with thinly veiled marketing tactics, especially on Facebook, as users may lose patience if they feel they’re being constantly marketed to.

Tip: You could even take a look at your own customers’ social activity and interactions to better inform your brand’s voice. Make a note of other companies they are following, the types of messages they seem to share most frequently, and generally, how they’re speaking with one another. Can you use this information to your advantage when considering your own content?

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Take a few minutes to check out the social pages of some of your competitors. Jot down what you think they’re doing right – and where you think they’re going wrong – with their content. How are they reaching out to their readers? How can this help inform your social media strategy?

Also consider…

  • Don’t force that tone – if it’s not natural and authentic, customers will see straight through it.
  • Be careful with humorous posts – will they be in keeping with your brand? Posts attempting to be funny run the risk of falling flat, and even doing damage to your company’s reputation in worst-case scenarios.
  • Try to keep your tone simple and don’t over-complicate it. Many of your customers may read your posts on mobile devices on the go, so make sure content is easily digestible.

Remember: Social media can be a hugely valuable tool to enable you to engage with your customers, but even more important is that you don’t stray from your brand’s already established tone and image.


Tags: Marketing
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