When you run a company, crafting a distinct and recognizable voice helps you differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Your brand’s voice is the purposeful expression of a brand through words that engage your target audience. Whenever your business launches an advertisement, updates your website, or speaks at a conference, you showcase this voice. This voice is determined largely by your word choice, sentence structure, and tone.
And Twitter—a live, conversational, and public platform that allows for accessibility between brands and consumers anywhere, anytime—is a powerful tool to accomplishing this.
Forty-six percent of Americans access Twitter daily, and 74% of them use the app to get news and information, so it remains one of the quickest ways to reach and engage your target audience in real-time.
Here are 4 ways to build a fresh voice on Twitter to show potential customers what your company is all about:
1. Start with your core identity.
Before you try to define your brand voice, you need to figure out who you really are.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or rebranding, you have to be able to clearly articulate the following:
- Vision: Why does your company exist? What sets it apart from similar organizations? Show customers why your company is the one they should pay attention to.
- Mission: What is your company’s reason for being? At a minimum, your mission statement should define who your primary customers are, identify the products and services you produce, and describe the geographical location in which you operate.
- Values: What are the fundamental beliefs upon which your business and its behavior are based? Your values are the guiding principles that your business uses to manage its internal affairs as well as its relationship with customers.
To answer these questions, you’ll want to gather your brand team and any relevant stakeholders for your early brainstorms so that you know you’re on track from the get-go. There will likely be strong opinions and some disagreements, but these prompts will help guide the conversation and steer you toward a consensus.
After you understand why you exist, what you do, and how you do it, it’s time to establish your brand’s unique voice.
2. Nail down your tone.
Lasting customer relationships are built on communication. And in order to do that effectively, you’ve got to figure out not only what you want to say, but how you want to say it—tone is everything.
But finding the right tone for your company is no small task. Here are a few factors to consider:
- Should your brand’s tone be contemporary or more formal?
- Practical or whimsical?
- Humorous or serious?
If you’re having trouble answering these questions, think about Denny’s Diner, which Forbes deemed the “King of Twitter.”
Denny’s Twitter account started with a simple goal: to not sound like a brand. In other words, their social media team began using the platform as a normal user would—with natural language, an awareness of relevant pop culture, an off-the-cuff style, quick response time, and no advertisements or promotions. With this strategy, they quickly separated themselves from the multitudes of salesy corporate lackeys.
The specifics of your tone will shift given your industry, but the key is to establish your brand as part of the community—not an intrusion—and connect with people in an organic way.
3. Empathize with your audience.
Twitter offers brands a unique opportunity to connect with customers and address their needs in real time—so use it wisely.
This means that when you get a tweet from a frustrated customer, don’t gloss over their emotions. Acknowledge their feelings and that their problem exists. Consumers are 25% more likely to be satisfied with a brand after a friendly customer service interaction. Taking time to respond empathetically will assuage the customer’s frustration, make them feel appreciated, and establish your brand as kind and helpful.
Keep in mind that 60% of consumers expect brands to respond to their customer service requests within an hour, so be prompt.
Also, be mindful of the fact that not every issue can be resolved in 140 characters, and follow up with a customer service inquiry where necessary. While customer service responses are happening on Twitter, brands need to continue to follow up to ensure a resolution is reached. Twitter users who receive a response and reach a resolution are 31% more likely to recommend a brand.
Twitter is a great place to interact with your customers, solve their problems, and make them fans for life.
4. Continue to hone your tone over time.
A brand voice is not meant to be a one-and-done deal.
As you develop new products or new competitors come into your market, it’s a good idea to take a look at your strategy and revisit if needed.
This means on a regular basis, convene your key content creators to find out if any voice attributes haven’t been working for whatever reason. When something isn’t having the desired effect, it may be time for a voice refresh or a new strategy session.
The way you engage with customers on Twitter can make or break your brand’s reputation. But if you establish and maintain a unique, organic, and empathetic voice, you’ll grow a loyal following.