Your company’s tone of voice is how the personality of your business comes through the words you use to your customers. This covers everything from your website content, social media and traditional print advertising and media.
WHY SHOULD YOU CREATE A COMPANY TONE OF VOICE?
Simply put, it ensures that all your team is projecting a consistent image of your brand and company. Your tone of voice is used to demonstrate your company goals, values and mission. If the message and tone spoken by your team is not consistent, your target market will be confused of your company message. If say on your website the language used is fun friendly and informal – then having your Facebook profile use formal language only brings confusion to your customers about who you are as a company.
Build a connection with your target market with your tone of voice. If consistent, you will gain their trust and create a memorable image of your brand.
WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER WHEN CREATING YOUR TONE OF VOICE?
There are several elements to consider here, which will all play a part in the creation of your company tone of voice. All elements build aspects of your company, which you will need to portray though your company tone of voice.
You should consider –
COMPANY MISSION STATEMENT
Why does your company exist? What are your goals? Who is your target audience? What do you stand for?
Achieving your mission statement.
what makes you unique? What differentiates you from other companies in your niche?
What values does the company have? Your company culture should instil these to your team. For example customer satisfaction, flexibility, honesty, trustworthiness or learning.
How would you describe your brand? Would you choose any of these – inviting, friendly, reliable, caring, genuine, quirky, good-humoured, respectful, professional, casual?
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRAND VOICE AND BRAND TONE
A brand voice is a mission statement- while your tone is the application of that mission.
The brand voice remains constant, but the tone will consistently change depending on the situation.
Your tone will vary depending on:
- Who you are talking to, for example, are you selling to a new agent, promoting a new product or trying to break into a new target audience?
- What platform you are using – your tone will differ when using email, social media or print collateral.
- Your relationship with the reader – are they a new client or do you have an existing relationship?
- Emotional state of the person you’re addressing – are you responding to a complaint or responding to a joke a client has made?
Create your voice by placing yourself in you customers’ shoes – speak to clients in an empathetic, compassionate, inclusive and conversational way. You should be clear, informative, encouraging and translate in a voice and language that resonates with your audience.
Don’t market at people; communicate with them.
For your tone, remember –
- It’s always more important to be clear than entertaining. Use simple words and sentences.
- Don’t force humour.
- Be authentic.
- Avoid inconsistencies – tone should be consistent in the message you are writing.
- Put usability before tone.
- Be specific, avoid vague language.
- Focus your message. Lead with the main point or the most important content.
- Don’t be afraid to amend the tone of voice if it makes the content more relatable.
- Be appropriate – just like in face-to-face conversations, adapt your tone depending on who you’re writing to and what you’re writing about.
WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA?
In the digital age, most companies share their news, events and updates on social media. When writing for social media, your company tone of voice should be followed, along with some additional pointers –
Write short, but smart – many social media platforms have a character limit, while others don’t. Keep your social media posts short, concise and to the point. Simplify your post or reduce the amount of information you’re sharing. If there is a lot of information to share, can you direct your followers to a webpage from your social media account?
Engagement – be interesting, not just interested. When appropriate, tag the subject of your posts. Use hashtags to get more views.
Emojis – Is your normal tone of voice formal? Is so, don’t use excessive exclamation points or emojis just because you’re on social media.