Tone of voice is the single most important part of copywriting for social media; providing the necessary context for your followers to understand exactly what you mean. With the fairly recent Twitter nightmare from Burger King (you know the tweet that I’m talking about), my point is drastically emphasised.
Brands are walking the line these days and with the success of KFC and Wendys’ ‘edgy’ social posts, it is clear that organisations are more willing to be playful and cheeky with their social copy. But vitally, all these organisations ensure that their brand’s tone of voice is contextually accurate.
Define Your Brand’s Tone of Voice
Initially when creating social media channels for your brand, you must define what your brand sounds like. Who are you as a brand? Who are the people behind the brand? Who are your target audience, and what will they most likely engage with?
Innocent, the fruit smoothie and health drink brand, use a very personable yet sarcastic tone of voice across all their social channels, including LinkedIn (arguably the most professional of the social platforms). Their tone conveys their cosy personality and reflects their values to be green, environmentally friendly, and activistic without sounding too serious. With this style comes hundreds of thousands of followers, because at the end of the day, social media’s original purpose was for people to socialise with friends and so the greatest long-term strategy for your brand on social media is to ‘keep it cool’ and avoid the commercialism.
Take care of the followers, and the £s will look after themselves
Avoiding the commercialism seems obvious. No social media user wants to be hassled by an advert when scrolling down their feed, yet more often than not, brands will put the call to action before the copy.
In my opinion, social media is primarily a lead nurture marketing channel rather than lead generation. You can use your organisation’s feed to present company updates, provide some much-needed brand transparency, and get personal with your brand’s stakeholders.
Slack, the business comms software, have an incredibly engaged social following. They have amounted over half a million followers on LinkedIn by simply providing updates about the business and showcasing the latest features available on their software. Simple yet effective. Slack knows that their followers aren’t expecting a rainbow GIF with bells and whistles but rather a personable transparent post about how they are able to utilise the latest Slack features. The key is to find the right combination of cross-channel marketing. Pairing this style of subtle soft-sell messaging on social media with an email campaign primarily intended to pick up the slack of CTAs (no pun intended), can be incredibly effective.
Social media should be used to build hype for a campaign launch or create a buzz around new products. Don’t expect the equivalent click-throughs of an email because you will always be disappointed. Connect with your followers, and over time they will convert of their own accord.
The Perfect Combination
Much like my Pick ‘N’ Mix bag, some brands go top heavy on one style – and soon it wears thin (but I will never get bored of White Chocolate Mice). Keeping it jokey all the time is a bad strategy. Maintaining the right balance between tones is important as keeping your content consistent is exactly what your followers want. That’s how you can keep them coming back for more.
Knowing when to move away from the jokey tone of voice is clearly a big problem for some brands. The top fast-food restaurants, as previously mentioned, have all taken on a rather apathetic attitude when it comes to customer complaints on social media, but this methodology should never carry across when mentioning world issues to your following. The infamous Burger King tweet, if you read down the thread, went on to talk about a fantastic scheme that they were launching. I can’t believe that I am actually writing this, but when posting about tackling gender equality issues, you shouldn’t start with a sexist tweet. And you can take that advice for free.
Right Place, Right Time
Being in the right place at the right time works.
Ensuring brand consistency in how and where you communicate is the key to a successful marketing strategy. Some of the best examples of long-term social media campaigns are time sensitive as it leaves users expecting your content, and sometimes pushes them to click that little notification bell that many marketers forget about.
At Cremarc we manage the social media of many of our clients. To unlock the full potential of this marketing channel for the organisations that we work with, we dig deep to truly understand what they do, and the culture that enables them to do it. We use their target audience to adapt their tone of voice and advise them on their communication methods, ensuring that followers are hearing exactly what they want to hear.
Book a totally free-of-charge marketing discovery session today and we can help your organisation define its tone of voice.