Besides being exceptional with their products, these brands have over the years, been very strong and consistent with their ‘brand voice’ – helping them to stand out from their competitors, and to strike a major chord in our hearts and minds!
Brand Voice is an amalgamation of words, colours, images (logos), language, attitude and expressions, that represent the persona of your brand and products, which helps your audience to perceive, engage and connect with your brand.
Not many brands realise that whenever you put something out for the world to experience – be it through advertisements, websites, conferences, webinars, or via social media posts, you're knowingly or unknowingly releasing your BRAND VOICE.
Some brands prefer to depict themselves as fun-loving, goofy and humorous, whereas some may strike you as ‘serious’ and philanthropic in nature. As seen below, the social media campaign from Red Cross is completely different from that of Domino’s Pizza. Each has their unique brand voice and resonates and connects with their User Personas:
The key here is to make absolutely sure that your brand voice is consistent and clear. If it's all over the place, your audience and customers will find it confusing, it will be hard for them to decipher your ‘brand identity’, your culture, values, your USP, or what is it that you truly offer – Your brand voice should immediately make your audience understand and identify your purpose, or ‘WHY’ you do, what you do!
And when the stats say that 80% of consumers are more likely to evaluate solutions from the brands they follow on social channels, it definitely pays to build a consistent and effective brand voice on the social networks.
The following are a few pointers to get you started on creating a strong brand voice on Social Media:
Stephanie Schwab's Four-part Formula
To create a well-rounded social media ‘brand voice’, Stephanie suggests we break down the ‘voice’ into four subsets of Character, Tone, Language and Purpose. By defining one’s brand through these four filters, it will help you craft a unique brand voice that determines your brand mission and personality:
- Character/Persona: If your brand is a person, how does it sound like? Is it friendly, authoritative, professional or goofy? Think in terms of those specific attributes that you’d like to fit to your brand.
- Tone: This refers to the vibe or the underlying ‘essence’ that your brand emanates through your communications. Do you want to establish your credibility as an ‘honest’, ‘direct’ brand that is more formal, or does being more ‘personal’ and casual suit you?
- Language: What words compliment your brand persona? Would you be using jargons, or would like to stay ‘hip’ with the latest slang?
- Purpose: This conveys why you’re here, what is it that you want your customers to understand about you, what do you want to do for them and with them? Are you there to sell, entertain or educate?
When you have sorted these facets of your brand voice, it then becomes easier to develop a consistent message across all channels – be it your writers, graphic designers or social media managers, it will be easy for everyone to be on the same page and deliver a similar ‘brand voice’ through their communications.
Consistent Colour Palette & Font Choices
If you want to give a consistent feel about your brand, it's imperative you use the same colours repeatedly in all of your logo, texts, illustrations and images.
To make your brand familiar to your audience, always choose two to four colours that you can consistently use throughout your social media posts and marketing campaigns. Below is an example from Cadbury, the brand uses its iconic purple and white colour across all its texts, logo and imagery:
Brands such as Cadbury, Facebook, Twitter, Dell, IBM and HP all use blue to represent their brand, as it evokes a feeling of ‘trust’, ‘intelligence’ and ‘progress’ from the viewers. Such understanding of colour psychology plays a significant role in subtly reflecting your brand persona to your audience.
As you can see in the palette above, yellow may signify cheerfulness and optimism, but red gives off the essence of confidence and vibrancy – no wonder Richard Branson uses a combination of red and white color schemes in his Virgin logos.
Just like colours, fonts also give off a certain personality about your brand, so you should choose them wisely – would you be willing to settle for a ‘cute’ or and ‘elegant’ one, simple or strong?
Usually successful brands use three fonts consistently throughout their marketing platforms and all social media channels. A font for your title/heading, a font for your subtitles, and a font for your body text.
Nike, above does this exceptionally well by using bold sans serif font with a more playful script font for the "Just do it" tagline. Notice how the title/heading font is the largest font in Nike’s design and it displays the most personality, whereas the Subtitle and Body font is much easier to read.
Defining a Clear 'Voice Outline
For brands these days, a small slipup in the tone of your voice or misrepresentation of your brand’s personality can lead to a major setback in Social Media.
It's therefore crucial you maintain a clear ‘voice’ right from the beginning and sustain it all the way, so as not to confuse, annoy or drive away your following and customers. Here are a few tips to help you with that:
Storyboarding Your Voice:
Storyboarding generally helps writers to develop a character in a script or a story. The same can be applied to determine the tastes of your brand ‘persona’; i.e. what is more preferable for your brand? What it doesn’t like? What are your end goals, who do you want to attract, etc.? – The more you dissect and define your brand attributes, the more precise your brand voice becomes.
Social Customer Service Strategy:
This is more about setting up rules and protocols when communicating in social channels, so that it plays in accordance to your brand image and personality. I.e. what to say and how to behave when an angry customer cusses you or complains about your brand on Twitter, or Facebook?
Will you be responding with ‘sorry to hear that’, or should your brand go the extra mile in taking all the necessary actions to ensure the customer is truly satisfied with your brand? These strategies should be able to define and direct how your social managers should interact and respond to any sort of engagement that takes place with your audiences.
Language and Social Jargons:
What kind of brand personality do you have? Is it comfortable speaking casual or colloquial language, or do you need to be more professional with your words? You don’t want some of your team members posting overtly frank and personal experiences while others are being strictly professional with industry buzzwords.
Over To You…
Having a strong and consistent brand voice on Social channels is essential in carving a preferred brand persona in the minds or your audiences. However, ‘brand voice’ shouldn’t be too perfect or rigid, but should be fluid and flexible enough to go with the flow of the communication trends and to the pace of audiences’ preferences – all the while keeping your core brand values and mission intact!
If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email email@example.com
Our Website is www.element7digital.com.au