Watch Your Tone…
How to determine the voice of your company
A lot of businesses small and large have become known for their unique tone in communication, whether it’s through social media or their website content or something else altogether. For instance, Wendy’s has made a name for itself through its Twitter account, which is constantly active and usually features a humorous tweet about their own food or their biggest competitors. Wendy’s has done this so well that it has not only become their voice, but is now the expectation for all of their content. So how do you find your company’s voice? We can help – read on for some expert tips.
Read the room
Have you ever told a hilarious story at a friend’s party that you would never dare to share at a company event? You know that the workplace is where you display your professional self at all times, and you conduct yourself accordingly. This concept is also true for determining your company’s voice and tone. When it comes to any communication your business sends, whether it’s a blog, Instagram post, or press release, you need to act like you’re in the workplace. That will mean different things for different businesses, depending on your audience.
If the majority of your clients and audience are older teenagers and recent college grads, you will find that they respond to a much different tone than those who are nearing retirement age. So no matter how funny you find a meme or how relevant a news story is to your own life, you have to consider whether your audience would respond the same way. Do a little digging to determine who reads your posts and emails to decide how to approach your tone, and then do the same for each of your clients.
Stay in your lane
When asked about her recent YouTube success, a woman whose videos have gained a huge following over the last year responded that one of the best tips she could offer other aspiring YouTubers was to find their niche. Even if they were an expert or had commentary on multiple subjects, she advised to choose one and stick with it – just like the voice you use for company communication.
As the creator of your content, you may hope to give your social media a more humorous tone or post a lot of relevant industry statistics. But the truth is that you have to determine what works best for your brand and stay in those parameters. If you find that your audience responds best to a more serious tone, it’s not usually a good idea to post a funny cartoon on your social media, no matter how much you think it relates to your business. Consistency is key for growing your audience – and a lot of social media algorithms are based on the consistency of your post topics.
Find the right tone
What is your goal for your external communication? Do you want to be an authority in your field? Do you want to seem more relatable than your competitors? Identifying your goals will help you decide on a tone. Much like when someone tells you they aren’t offended by what was said, but how it was said, your tone can change the entire meaning of your message. Knowing what you want to say will guide you on how to say it.
If you’re not sure which tone makes the most sense for your company, talk to your team members. They can give you a fresh perspective on how they see the business and how they think others will best respond. You can try out a few options internally and allow your employees to vote or comment on which tone makes the most sense for your business. You may also find that your tone evolves over time, just like your business will. As long as your outward communication reflect your internal company values, you are on the right track.
Finding your voice and creating the right tone won’t happen overnight – you will need to take some time to determine exactly how you want to show others what your business is all about. Help your audience, along with your potential clients, understand exactly what you can do for them through the voice you give to your business.