It’s no secret that deciphering the tone of written words can be difficult. How many times have we all misinterpreted someone’s text message? Social media copy works the same way. It can be really difficult to determine what some brands are saying if they aren’t being extremely careful with their wording – thus the importance of being conscious of your tone on social media.
There are many contributing factors to your tone. Your choice of words is extremely important, and the structure of what you’re saying and the way the words work together can either help or hurt the message you’re trying to get out. How can you watch your tone on social media?
Define your brand’s personality & use that as a guide for your tone on social media.
One of the most important steps to crafting your business’s most authentic tone on social media is to establish your brand’s personality. This should fit the industry you’re in; the goal is to speak to your audience in a way that makes them want to listen and take action to create a business relationship with your brand. Once you have a personality assigned to your brand, this will influence your tone.
A great example of a brand personality can be seen on the Twitter account run by fast-food chain Wendy’s. We’ve talked about their Twitter before – they’re hilarious! Wendy’s has established themselves on Twitter for “roasting” other companies; in the included tweet, they are roasting McDonald’s for their wait times.
Sarcasm and roasting may not be your brand’s personality, and that’s totally okay! Whatever your personality is, your tone on social media should match. If you’re playful, that’s great! If your business is more serious, that’s great, too! Just make sure that you’re staying consistent with your tone across your platforms.
Be extremely clear and concise with your copy on social media.
It’s natural to want to over-explain in an effort to make your audience understand what you mean. However, this often makes your message more difficult to grasp. There’s a fine line between being blunt and being concise, and once you find that balance, you’re golden!
Essentially, the idea is to get your message across in the simplest way possible. For example, if you’re selling a product, don’t tell your audience every little detail about it. Keep it short and relatable! Tell your audience what your product can do for them, and tell them where they can find it. No need to make it any more complicated than that.
Enlist the help of a friend or colleague to check the tone of your copy.
Have you ever stared at a word for so long that it starts to look like a nonsensical jumble of letters? Something similar can happen when you’ve been staring at your marketing copy for a while.
One of the best ways to really hear the tone being conveyed through your words is to have them read aloud. Stand in front of a mirror and read what you’ve written! It feels weird, but you can really grasp the meaning and impact of the words that way. Actors do it with their lines; you should do it with your writing. Trust us, it helps.
Of course, the one downside of this method is that you already know what you’re trying to say. Having some fresh eyes (and ears) on your work can really illuminate areas that need some improvement. Ask a colleague to read over it and tell you what they’re gathering from it. Not only is it a new look at your marketing copy, but hearing the tone that your colleague perceives from the words can help you see if you’re on target or not!
Let your clients weigh in on your decision.
It’s incredibly helpful to get feedback from your audience whenever possible. An excellent way to help determine what the tone of your copy should be is to send out a survey to your audience. You can do so by sending a follow-up email to your existing email campaigns, or create a new one and advertise it on your social media.
The question could be something along the lines of, “what word would you choose to describe our brand?” Or, if you’d like to get more specific, you could provide a multiple-choice survey with each choice containing a different list of words. These could be words like, “warm, friendly, welcoming” or, “professional, innovative, formal” or any other combination of words. Using that information, you can start to shape your tone on social media across all your platforms!
If you’re having trouble figuring out what message your branding is sending about your business, you’ve come to the right place. Reach out to our team of branding and marketing experts here at Blackwood Creative. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – and yours could be next. Contact us today!