There’s no other organization just like yours, so make sure it sounds like it.
The concept sounds simple, but then you start to write a post and get stuck. Follow these writing tips for developing your social media tone of voice for your business, organization or personal account.
[FREE GUIDE: 6 steps to crafting an internal social media plan]
1. Define your personality, language, tone and purpose.
Just like you and your organization, your social media presence should exhibit a personality that is consistent and speaks to your target audience. Whether you stick to your brand voice in every post will depend on how well you identified it in the first place.
- Personality – Whom do you sound like? Create an identity with specific characteristics that fit your brand. It should be unique.
- Tone – What is the main essence of your brand?
- Language – What kinds of words and adjectives will you use in posts and conversations? Make a list.
- Purpose – Why are you on social media? What purpose will each one of your social media platforms serve? What value will you bring to your followers?
You can think about these adjectives for each category suggested by Stephanie Schwab, writing for Social Media Explorer:
When deciding on your personality and tone, consider this behavior chart from Sprout Social:
2. Be direct and personal.
Social media gives you the opportunity to engage directly with your audience. Generic messaging will not resonate with your audience or start a conversation. Instead, make your followers feel as if you are talking directly to them.
3. Research your audience’s interests, lifestyle and values.
To be able to gain new followers and keep current fans, you must think about why they are following you in the first place, as well as research their demographics and interests. Using this information, you can create posts that are more meaningful to them.
4. Be short and casual—and adjust your tone for each social media platform.
Just because you have 240 characters on Twitter to use, doesn’t mean you should. Posts with only 40 characters on Facebook perform the best. Be powerful with your words. Use just enough to get your followers interested. No one wants to read an unnecessarily long post that will take up their time.
Don’t forget to adjust your tone for each platform. For example, you do not have the same network of followers on both Twitter and Instagram, and each platform should serve a slightly different purpose. Use more links on Twitter, fewer hashtags on Facebook, and create clever captions on Instagram.
5. Include a call to action.
Say something like “read more,” “share your favorite…” or “tell us about your…”.
There are lots of creative ways to encourage your followers to engage while sticking to your company’s persona. Remember: Don’t be annoying. You don’t need three exclamation points.
Leah Brown is a social media specialist with S&A Communications. A version of this article originally appeared on the S&A blog.