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Your Brand’s Social Tone of Voice

How to Create a Unified Voice in Social Media

A well-defined brand voice helps make content sticky
PERSONALITY
You’ll want to make sure you’re authentic – but by outlining personality traits and acting more like a person and less like a corporation, you’re giving your community a reason to engage

TONE
Tone may change based on content or audience, but those changes should be nuance – An overarching tone will set the stage of how you behave.

LANGUAGE
Personality and tone can be interpreted differently. Setting linguistic guidelines will help all content creators have specific rules they can check themselves against.

CONTENT
It’s not just what you say and how you say it, but what you share. Defining your brand’s social tone of voice will help set standards for content creation and curation

Snarky

Bold

Irreverent

Your Cooler, Funnier Wingman

Style Guru Perky Down To Earth

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How does a brand voice manifest socially?
Brands, like people, should adjust their voice depending on who you’re talking to and where the conversations are taking place.

IS
An attitude A filter Flexible Personal style Unique, but natural Semantics A point of view One part of a bigger picture Capitalization & punctuation Accessible The secret sauce Representative

IS NOT
Fractured Fake Complicated All-encompassing A set of words Pre-approved responses A Britney medley at a Phish concert Forced Rigid Complete

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Start with inspiration
Have your core team identify inspiration from other brands, but also from within.

1. A social tone of voice shouldn’t be
a complete 180. Ask employees and people working with the brand to share their favorite pieces of existing

2. Look externally and identify
other brands that you feel have
nailed it.

3. In social media, it’s important to
act like a person instead of a corporation. Identify a muse for your brand – someone you can look to for inspiration for both personality traits & linguistic cues.

communication & those that they
feel are most representative of the brand – from status updates and tweets to brochures to internal employee communication.
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• What elements do you like? • How is it received by their audience? • How does their voice change by
platform?

• How do they showcase their brand
personality through language?
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Workshop the solution
You’ll want at least 3 people and no more than 40. If you have more than 10 people, split into groups of no more than 10. Guide participation through questions that will provide inputs for a guide. BRAND 101 How would employees describe your brand? How would competitors describe your brand? What’s your brand truth?

AUDIENCE

Who are you talking to? How does this differ based on platforms? How do they perceive your brand?

PERSONALITY TRAITS

What personality traits does your muse have that your brand should aspire to? How do they change their personality based on who they’re talking to?

LINGUISTIC CUES

If your muse is a celebrity, consider printing out scripts from a movie/show they’ve been in so that people can identify linguistic cues. How does your muse speak? Does he/she have a catch phrase? Do they use slang or are they a bit more formal?

TIP: Know where you’re going before you get there. Work with your community manager(s) and strategist(s) to set a tone for the day and to have an idea of the direction you want to go in.
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Creating a guide
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Keep it short and sweet.
Give just enough detail for people to feel like they have something to follow, but don’t overwhelm as too many guidelines can limit creativity.

Make it pretty.
You’ll want something that community and content managers, and even brand managers, will want to keep on their desks.

Designate a leader – and empower them.
While many people should participate in the workshop, you’ll want a core team of 2 to 3 people who will lead the development of the voice and the output document.

Include examples.
Develop sample content that’s written within the new social tone of voice. Point out which personality traits were used and linguistic cues referenced for easy understanding.

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