Your brand is a fusion of personality, strengths, personal style and values. Your brand voice is simply an intentionality to communicate those qualities.
The good news is that social media provides endless opportunities to develop your brand voice. This guide is designed to lay the groundwork for the importance of brand voice and to capitalize on the opportunity that social media affords.
Why Develop a Brand Voice?
1. Because when there is competition, being common kills
Let’s be honest, whether you are a restaurant, a retailer or an agency, there is competition in your industry.
Consider Uber for example. Lyft is a direct competitor as are Taxicabs, but so are buses, commuter trains and even public bicycle and scooter programs. But Uber called itself by a name that means superb, outstanding and ultimate. By choosing a name from a word evolving from common use, the company implied that everyday riders are going to get an uncommon ride.
They were a brand communicating economy and efficiency; clean cars and friendly drivers.
What to do: Finding a brand voice that speaks to what makes your business unique is key in differentiating yourself from competitors.
You need to identify and describe the elements of your business that are unlike any other.
If you’re a burger joint and your meat and produce are locally sourced. There you go! Your brand voice should reflect your local charm and ethical vibe. If you’re a talent agency that actively seeks out talent from small town theater programs? Boom! Your voice could reflect a focus on wholesome cross-country culture and the American dream.
It may not always be that obvious, but every business has a differentiator. Find these qualities and create a brand voice that reflects your values and the promise to your customers.
2. Because your business needs communication consistency
For businesses, small and large, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and neglect what seems like an ambiguous and ongoing task of brand voice development.
However, in the long-run unaligned marketing, conflicting messages to customers and a lack of clarion call can have a huge impact on revenue.
What to do: If you are a small business just start -- but don't take on the pressure and responsibility of Tweeting 20 times a day, posting to Facebook 10 times a week and writing a new blog by 9 am every Monday morning.
Begin by knowing where you will be communicating and how your brand will speak.
If you have an active audience on Facebook, plan out two or three posts a week that promotes your product. Infuse these posts (and comments to your followers) with your personality, strengths, personal style and values. As your business grows, you can build on these fundamentals and expand your digital presence.
3. Because customers and employees need to know what is most important
Creating a consistent voice allows for better overall communication and helps avoid mixed messages not only to customers externally, but internally.
What to do: A consistent brand voice will be a catalyst for strong collaboration across your business.
The marketing team will better understand what they are really selling, and the customer service team will better understand the promises the company has made to its customers. Research and development will be less likely to chase outlier and finance departments less likely to only focus on profit and loss.
Without brand voice creating a communication superhighway across the departments, you are likely to have inconsistently propagated values leading to meandering mission and cultural conflict.
Though managing brand voice can be challenging (and sometimes overwhelming), knowing who you are is the place to start. Begin with the basics and you’ll have a foundation for your online presence to grow and expand.
Keep in mind that at SPS DGTL we have in-house some of the best minds in social media and developing brand voice and are here to help.
Need more social media guidance? Check out these free content tools!