Tone of voice isn’t just what you say, but how you say it. Finding the right words and using them in the correct rhythm can develop your company’s personality. This personality needs to be represented in the company website, social media, emails, packaging, and more.
When you are marketing your company, you are building your brand. This is important to keep in mind because you want to convey the personality, or voice, of the people that make up your brand. This personalized voice will help set your brand apart from the rest, giving you a recognizable and unique feel. Having a unique voice will also help build trust in your brand from a client’s perspective. When a client feels like they know a brand, they are more likely to use that brand, and then become a returning customer.
So now that we’ve covered the basics on why your brand should have its own voice, we’ll talk about what to do and what to avoid while developing your brand.
Where to start:
Go back to your company’s roots. What was the foundation to your company? What sets you apart from your competitors? To help you figure this out, we recommend revisiting your company’s mission statement. Try to gain inspiration from things your company has already established.
What Does Your Company Sound Like?:
Here at Duo, for example, we specialize in communicating with social media, which tends to have a relaxed tone of voice. We can get away with using #FunnyFriday or abbreviating words. When someone reads the Facebook page of an ad agency, they want it to be relevant, entertaining, and valuable.
For some of our medical clients, on the other hand, it would be inappropriate to use such a relaxed tone when communicating to the audience. When someone reads the social media page of a hospital, they want to feel safe, reliable, and consistent.
Another way figure out your voice is to know if your company uses informal or formal language. So in an email for example, do you want the message to be:
“We are here to inform you of a new offer”
“Check out the new deals goin’ down this week”
Using colloquial terms in your communication will give you personality, but is it the personality you would like to give off? If you decide that slang vocabulary is right for your social media and costumer approach, you still need to make sure you maintain a professional voice for things like legal documents or contracts.
Pronouns and Grammar
How do you determine your company’s communication when talking to the customer? If you frequently use “you’ or “your”, it can be viewed as overly self-interested. Try to balance the times when you need to have a personal sound or when you need to sound more distant and avoid a pronoun all together. For example, saying:
“You won’t need to…”
“There’s no need to…”
With the emphasis on great content these days, companies can forget to focus on proper grammar for their voice. Use grammar as your guide, but be willing to adapt when appropriate. Some rules might seem too stuffy for your taste, for example:
Whom vs. Who
When used in speech, especially on social media, whom can sound overly proper. The difference between the two words has little impact on the ability to understand the sentence, so it is best to choose the word that sounds the best in the sentence, and fits your company’s personality the best.
In the end, it’s about writing in a way that best communicates your message. Find what works for your company and be consistent.