This topic is coming up again and again. People are finding and posting great content but they are missing the Voice that goes with it. Writers have voices. Speak with any author, publisher, writer or marketing specialist. The voice needs to be defined when you are designing any writing. The success of a written piece of work is partly story but also partly voice. Social media is not that different. Defining the voice that you will use on social media is an important part of your strategy.
What is a social media voice?
How we speak and how we write can produce two totally different outcomes. When we are speaking on the phone or in person we have the added benefit of tone, arms, fingers, noises, inflection, laughter, eye movements, smiles to build the tone of our conversation. Writing makes communication and the creation of tone a lot harder. If you are comfortable with a computer and with your writing, this is easy for you. If you are not comfortable with one or the other of these, finding your voice could take a bit of practice and awareness.
A social media voice is the personality that will be read/hard/seen on your social media networks. Facebook has finally clued in that not everyone can create a great voice on social media so they have added emotion options to encourage tone, inflection and a better voice for those who are not comfortable with creating their voice on social media. This is help to improve the creation of emotion in your text but you can still work on creating your social media voice.
Define your voice so who ever is posting has a cue to follow
Whether you are posting or a staff member is posting, it is important to define what intended voice should be on social media. Do you want this voice to be hip, cool and young. Do you want this voice to be guiding, smooth, balanced and informative. Do you want this voice to be the class clown that makes everyone laugh at the drop of a hat. You decide what the voice should be and it should align with your business. If you want the voice to be you, define what makes you! No psychiatrists needed, just take a moment and define your voice.
In an article written by Men with Pens, finding your authentic voice was outlined with these simple thoughts:
- Think of adjectives that define your personality
- If you were a cocktail, which one would you be. Use this metaphor to define your style.
- Try on vastly different roles or personas, and write 200 words in each one
- Write a love letter and pour your heart out, what do you see when you re-read it.
- Read your work out loud. If you can’t stand the sound of your own voice, others won’t like it either.
Additionally Stephanie Schwab has put together this great example of different voice styles. The information is the same, but the voice is very different.
Write for yourself and for your audience
Don’t try and be Dylan Thomas, Edgar Allen Poe, Gabriel Garcia, George Elliot or Lewis Carroll, be yourself with all of your tone and nuances but capture you in your writing. We all have different sides to us and it is defining that part of ourselves or our business through ourselves that will captivate readers and social media followers.
When you define your voice and write down what that voice is, anyone can easily take over your social media and keep that voice. If you find that the voice is not working, you can tweek the voice and change what you thought it could be by reviewing your original definition. Play with it, have fun with it, but define it.