What do Instagram's Gary Vee, Queensland’s Police Force and online media’s Thrillest have in common?
They all have a strong brand voice that is unique, distinct and clearly aligned with their company. This is why these specific brands have a successful and loyal following - they relate to their followers on an individual level.
You are doing everything right on social media and following what the Internet is telling you to do. You are using appropriate hashtags, creating content that is valuable to your audience and sponsoring said content to gain more reach.
The only thing that is missing is a consistent brand voice that sets you apart from other businesses that are doing the exact same things that you are. Just like your mum told you back in high school - being different is cool!
You want to create a solid voice that distinguishes you from other similar companies, among all of your social platforms. This is what develops a relationship between your brand and your target audience. We may sound like a broken record but people want to connect with people, not robots (not yet anyway).
Social Media gives you the chance to cultivate a persona that ultimately attracts people to your brand. A great example of this is the Queensland Police Force, a serious and professional organisation that has a sarcastic and culturally relevant voice across their social platforms that could possibly grant them a gig on Saturday Night Live.
The police force deals with heinous and chilling crimes daily; so why is their social media riddled with witty dad jokes, terrible puns, One Direction references and NSW witticism?
The answer is simple. The Queensland Police has an incredibly smart marketing strategy!
By creating a humorous brand personality, the Queensland Police are now the most popular police Facebook page in the world with more than 920,000 Likes, with their twitter and Instagram accounts following closely behind. Their highly active online presence and strong brand voice now allows the police force to easily spread information in a time of crisis.
Now that we have given you an example of a strong brand voice, it is time for you to think about yours.
Listen to your audience
Paying attention to how your customers communicate with your brand is your first crucial step.
Are they conversational and informal or direct and precise?
Knowing and more importantly understanding your audiences online behaviour and values allows you to create a brand voice and personality that aims to connect with your target market on a personal and direct level.
A 'voice' that embodies your brand
How would you describe your brand?
How would you like to describe the ‘voice’ of your brand?
Do you want to come across as comical and informal? Educational and bold?
Again, when answering these questions, consider your online community – present and future. For instance, if you are aiming to target a young market, use current references and language that speaks to that specific demographic (coming from a 24 year old, please, just don’t use the terms ‘lit’ and ‘yolo’).
Saying 'lit' is as uncool as this guy...
You want your customers to instantly know a post is yours by having a unique and specific tone. With millions of companies already online, you do not want to be a replica of your competitors.
Would you want to follow five of the same food blogs if they write and take photos of the same things?
Would you engage with a company that only posts promotional content?
Of course not.
There needs to be a reason for customers to follow and engage with your content. When deciding on your brands tone, find a niche that differentiates you from your competitors.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how to create a strong brand voice. It is all about being consistent, engaging and unique. Once you have your target audience mapped out you can start to play and find your own individual voice.