Not all social media platforms are created equal, and your brand voice should reflect that adaptability.
We know what you may be thinking.
Shouldn’t my brand voice be consistent? Isn’t that what every marketer says?
You’re right. Your brand voice should be consistent. But consider this.
Do you carry yourself differently at work than you do when you’re out with friends or spending time with your family? Just like how human beings are intricately layered and have different ways of presenting themselves depending on their situation, you should take a similar approach to your social media platforms.
The trouble with defining your brand voice on different social media platforms is that rigid guidelines for your brand voice can feel stifling. Like an individual’s personality, your brand has to retain some elasticity to appeal to different people in different places. Your brand may have a central personality, but it needs to be able to convey different tones in different situations and environments.
When it comes to brand voice and social media, the foundation should always be to maintain consistency so that no matter which social media platform someone visits, they’ll know it belongs to your business. However, when it comes to how you craft content for each social media platform, your brand voice should shift and mold itself to each one and what each one’s audience’s expectations are. What works for Instagram does not always work for Twitter and vice versa.
So, here are our tips on how to tailor your content on social media to different platforms while maintaining your overall brand identity.
First: You Need To Establish Your Brand Voice
Before you can start tailoring your brand voice to each platform, you first need to hone in on your overall brand voice and the foundation you will build on.
Here is a quick step-by-step guide:
- Research your target audience and create customer templates
- Complete some brand voice exercises
- Be inspired by strong examples
- Practice with the content you create and curate
- Create brand voice guidelines to stay consistent
The great thing about your brand voice is that you can dress it up and dress it down but still stay true to your brand. So what does that look like? Let’s talk about it.
Second: Know Where Your Brand Voice Should Wear A Fancy Jacket and Where It Can Wear A T-Shirt and Jeans
What do we mean by this? First, consider our point from earlier about when to dress up and dress down your brand voice.
Let’s consider Wendy’s.
Wendy’s is notorious for absolutely roasting its fast food competitors and followers on Twitter. They took a huge risk when they established their Twitter voice to be blunt, sarcastic, and sometimes just plain rude. They took off their fancy jacket and traded it for a full-on wrestling outfit. But it paid off. In 2017, Wendy’s registered a 126.4% Twitter follower growth rate which is a huge outpace of the 5.9% median growth rate for most other U.S.-based restaurants.
But does their brand voice sound like their Twitter account on their website? Or in their commercials?
Of course not!
That is a perfect example of how tailoring your brand voice to different platforms and the audience can make a more significant impact than posting the same exact content across all platforms.
Are we saying that your brand should start roasting your competition and audience?
What we are saying is that sometimes, moving away from the strict guidelines of your brand voice can pay off. But we can guarantee that Wendy’s didn’t do this at random. There was likely a lot of research, discussions, and brainstorming that went into their decision to shift away from their brand voice guidelines on Twitter. It was a risk. A pretty big risk. But in this situation, it paid off in the long run.
This is what we mean by fancy vs. t-shirt.
At the time they started their new approach, Wendy’s knew that Twitter was a platform that was less strict, more conversational, and more down-to-earth than the other big platforms (Facebook and Instagram). They knew that of all the platforms they were on, Twitter would likely be the best option for testing the move away from their more traditional, business brand voice tone.
In your case, this idea can be put to the test in ways that are unique to your business.
Consider which platforms you’re on. Look at the audience demographics. Research what other similar businesses are doing on their own platforms. Ask people on your team for out-of-the-box ideas that maybe you hadn’t thought of.
All of those ideas can help your team begin to explore new ways to reach and connect with your audience through shifts in brand voice while still holding onto the core of who you and your business are.
Third: Trial, Error, And Exploration
The thing about social media and brand voice is that both will change over time. Just like the uniqueness of humans, we change and grow constantly, but our core values and the things that make us who we are, do not. Your brand voice should follow the same path. And also, just like humans, we don’t always get it right the first time.
Wendy’s experienced an incredible win with its shift in brand voice on Twitter. While that isn’t always going to be the outcome for businesses experimenting with brand voice shifts across platforms, as long as you stay honest, authentic, and approach each situation with humility and a learning mindset, you’re already set up for success.
Consider taking off the fancy jacket and replacing it with a comfy t-shirt on one of your more casual platform accounts. See what happens. Do the research and ask for advice from trusted people on your team, but also don’t be afraid to take some risks.
At The End Of The Day
When it comes to your brand voice, it’s all about your business’s identity. But, it’s important to remember that each social media platform is unique, and audiences have different expectations depending on which platform they’re on. While it is essential that your brand identity remains recognizable across platforms, you have a lot of freedom to tweak and change things up depending on the platform. Use your different platforms as an opportunity to showcase the various aspects of your brand’s personality, and you could unlock so many new ways of connecting with your audience and growing your brand awareness.