Mar 24, 2016 Written by Guest
I attend many networking events. While I always being the "authentic me," my tone differs at a breakfast networking event at 7:30 am vs. a happy hour at 7:30 pm. With social media, your tone should change as well from one platform to another. So what is the difference between your company's voice and its tone and what tone is appropriate to use on each platform?
Voice vs. Tone
According to Kevan Lee with Buffer Social, the definitions that make the most sense are as follows:
Voice: Your brand personality described in an adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive, cynical or professional.
Tone: A subset of your brand’s voice. Tone adds specific flavor to your voice based on factors like audience, situation and channel.
Essentially, there is one voice for your brand and many tones that refine that voice.
Voice is a mission statement. Tone is the application of that mission.
Why Does This Matter?
Voice and tone matter because they humanize your brand and let you take part in conversations naturally. If you have read my blogs in the past you know social media is a human-to-human interaction. Basically, don't come across as a robot or create a one-sided conversation. This is not how you effectively use Social Media. (Learn more on how to use Social Media by checking out one of my earlier posts.)
Three C's of the Brand Voice
Culture – What is the culture of your company and your audience. Examples include: professional, fun, environmentally responsible, athletic or other culture.
Community – Listening can reveal how your community speaks and can help you speak easier with them and to them. You can use their language and meet them on their terms.
Conversation – Personality and authenticity are key here. What do you want to add to the conversation? As you think about what you can offer, you’ll start to see a better picture of where your voice might fit.
Choosing Your Tone on Each Platform
Staying along the lines of a networking event I have a different tone if I meeting with the women of Working Women of DFW, or with a networking meeting at The Vant Group or listening to a speaker at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC).
Facebook - a casual lunch with business colleagues
Facebook has become the causal say anything platform. If your feed is anything like mine, it is covered with family pictures, zen quotes, strangely helpful tips and strong political opinions.
I think of Facebook as the comfortable social media platform where you share and talk with those you are most comfortable. Therefore content on Facebook should be interesting, eye catching and relevant to your audience. This is obviously true for every platform but with so many different distracting things to read you really have to stand out.
LinkedIn - a formal breakfast with prospects
LinkedIn is your interview and professional networking site. Leave your baby photos, political cartoons and weekend plans at the door. This is a professional site and your tone should be as such. What stands out about this platform is its ability to make business connections.
Want to more about using LinkedIn for your generating business leads, read my blog.
Twitter - a happy hour with pizza, beer and professionals
With a shortage of words (140 characters), people tend to become very creative. Twitter can be more professional than Facebook, but not as formal as LinkedIn. People post a little bit of everything on this platform, but news and recent happenings take precedence.
Don't be too informal on this site and remember to speak to your audience. Check out what is #trending to tie into current events and use photos to grab attention in this continuous stream of information social media platform.
Most importantly for all platforms, know your audience and use a consistent voice and be authentic.
If you want to learn more about developing your business' tone and voice on social media, please contact me and I am happy to complete a free 30 minute analysis of your social media platforms. Please reference this blog in the comments section.
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