You’re doing everything right in social media marketing: you’ve got buy-in from bosses, a strategy for success, ROI all figured out.
But if you don’t have a brand voice, you’ll never get from mediocre to amazing.
Creating a strong, consistent voice is the key to building a real relationship with your audience. Whether you’re B2C or B2B, people ultimately buy from people — more specifically, people we like and relate to.
And social media gives brands a chance to develop personality, style and characteristics of their own. All the good stuff that attracts you to people can also endear you to a brand or company. What an amazing marketing opportunity!
A social media voice can be hip, communal, playful, educational, sophisticated, fun, irreverent, inspirational, helpful or a million other adjectives. So how do you find your brand’s voice? Explore the three Cs: culture, community and conversation.
The core of your brand’s voice must come from its culture. Every organization has something that makes it unique, whether it’s philanthropy or a unique founding story or poker Fridays.
What do you stand for? What do you talk about? What makes you stand out? This is your organization’s personality. Make those elements the inspiration for your online voice. Take us inside your brand’s experience.
Having a social media voice lets your community — new and old — know what to expect when they interact with you.
So what better way to hone your voice than by listening to them first? Find out their problems and concerns. Listen to the way they voice their feelings. Make sure you know what they want from you. Speak their language, on their terms.
Armed with culture and community, the last piece is conversation. Determine what you’re bringing to social media by putting your brand out there (your answer might be something like customer support, industry education, general fun or product promotions) and then communicate it with personality and authenticity. No strong-arming or hard selling, just talking in a way that’s comfortable, conversational and relatable.
How would your company sound at a backyard barbecue or cocktail party (drinking responsibly, of course)? There’s your voice.
20 Great Social Media Voices
Ready to see the power of social media voice in action? I went hunting for some brands with strong social media voices. Here’s what I found.
1. Penmaker Sharpie particularly shines on Instagram, where the company’s creative, fun voice is fully articulated.
2. Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center has a Twitter voice that’s like a hip, artsy friend.
3. Dude-focused email newsletter Thrillist rocks a funny, slightly silly bro vibe on Facebook.
4. Beer maker Sam Adams never goes full-on party mode in social media, sticking to an all-American casual voice with lots of insider scoop.
5. Target’s social media tone is whimsical and personable, with lots of relatable updates.
6. Carwoo’s Facebook page is full of bizarre car photos that lead to great community conversations.
7. Weird, witty and irreverent sums up Taco Bell on Twitter.
8. Artisan ice cream maker Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has a Facebook page full of lush photos that hammer home one core concept: wholesome local ingredients.
9. On Twitter, Sephora strikes an educational and informational tone.
10. GE knows its audience, so it geeks out with abandon on Instagram with detailed pics of cool machines.
11. Intel aims for smart, educational and inspirational in its social media updates.
12. Healthy, inspirational and helpful describe Adidas’ Twitter voice.
13. Helpful is the hallmark of Doubletree’s hospitality-focused Twitter account.
14. Nerdy and proud of it, Thinkgeek speaks the way its audience of hip geeks does.
15. Like the designer’s clothes, Marc Jacobs’ social media voice is young, smart and effortlessly cool.
16. Elegant, refined and classic define the chic Tiffany & Co. brand on social media.
17. Interactive agency HUGE has an incredibly consistent Twitter voice that’s witty, sophisticated and just a smidge snarky.
18. Daily Candy’s Facebook posts are sassy, quippy and in-the-know.
19. Diaper brand Huggies plays hosts to a warm and inviting parent-focused social media community.
20. GAP pulls from its long history to create an all-American, fresh voice.
Want to hear more from these brands? You can follow them all in my “Great brand voices” Twitter list. What brands do you associate with a strong social media voice? Share your favorite examples in the comments!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.