When I conduct a communication audit for a new client, one of the first things I explore is the “voice” a company uses across multiple platforms. Although I suggest adjusting a brand’s voice slightly according to the style of each social media outlet they’re using and their target audience(s) on each, I also underscore the importance of consistency. Why?
Keeping your words “in brand” offers benefits beyond SEO.
Your branded messages meet customer expectations, and we like to be “served” what we expect. After learning an acquaintance was avoiding gluten, I experimented with various recipes. During a small dinner party, I served gluten-free cupcakes, and for the first time, I saw my friends – frequent dinner guests – leave dessert on their plates. The treats were sweet, but the texture was different than the cake they anticipated. They wanted a familiar taste.
To build trust, give readers/customers what they expect from you. Changing your brand voice too much is a distraction.
Even if no one reads everything we post, we know what we post.
The words we use as business owners can move and energize us as much as they move our audience. Choose carefully.
Let’s look at a few other tips related to your brand voice.
Your website is the foundation of your online presence.
Social media rules change, while your website is under your complete control. In a recent post about putting your website to work for you, I suggest thinking of it as an employee. If your brand voice is new or evolving, consider your communication goals and target audience as you implement any changes, starting with your website.
If you want engagement, be engaged.
I keep a short list of “social media managers” who can maintain a company’s social media properties or train business owners or other personnel to do so. As I wrote in a post about questions to ask your social media manager, do not expect customers to visit a site you’re not visiting regularly. Even if you hire a social media manager, you MUST continue to engage with your properties.
Keep your writing conversational and clean.
Imagine your best customer or your most coveted new client is standing next to you as you read your social media post to them, out loud. If you would not say a certain word or phrase when pitching your product or service to a customer, that word or phrase does not belong in any of your business-related communication.