How to strike the right tone on social media

FacebookIt can be hard to achieve the right tone on social media. How you communicate depends on your product or service, your audience and your organisation’s values.

Perfecting your tone is essential for selling, but that doesn’t mean you should use a sales pitch to talk to your customers.


What do we mean by tone?

Tone is closely linked to voice. The team at Buffer has broken down the difference between the two for us. Here are their definitions:

“Voice: Your brand personality described in an adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive, cynical, or professional.”

“Tone: A subset of your brand’s voice. Tone adds specific flavor to your voice based on factors like audience, situation, and channel.”

So, tone is the nuance that refines voice and makes it more relevant to the user in that moment. This means you need to understand your audience and the situation they’re likely to be in when they’re interacting with your content to ensure your tone is appropriate.

Why not go for the hard sell on social media?

Social media is not generally where people go to make a purchase. It’s where they tend to socialise and investigate new trends or ideas. Yes, they may see something they want to buy on social media platforms and more than 80% of social media users follow brands, but it really isn’t the place for the hard sell.

In fact, as this graph shows almost 60% of users are irritated by brands posting too many promotions. So, beware!

You can also learn a little more about voice and tone on social media from this graph. Avoid slang and jargon wherever possible, as you can see, they’re big no-nos.

Creating the right tone on social media

Use your social media channels to introduce yourself to your target audience. Warm them up, build a rapport and get them to trust you by using a softly-softly approach to communication and social selling.

Showing your business’ personality is also important. An example of an organisation that we think is nailing this is Orkney Library for mixing up its social media posts with a dash of comedy and some great photos depicting the local surroundings. As the library puts it, “the humour brings them in and then we get the important information across”. It works for them, so it could for you too!

Your tone on social media should also be one of understanding, even if you’re using a professional or formal voice. Demonstrate that you understand key pain points for the user and can offer relevant solutions. Direct replies to tweets and Facebook comments can be an effective way of doing this. They can also help establish your brand as an authority, build trust and persuade the user to buy from you at a later date.

Try to find the right balance between promoting your products and providing value. Avoid commanding, blatant sales phrases and soften your language using phrases like “subscribe to find out more” or “take a look at our website for further details”.

Use your social media posts to gently prompt users to move onto the more sales-orientated content on your website using direct links. Your website can have a tone that’s more sales-focused, as that’s what users expect. But, on social, it pays to be your audience’s friend first!

If you need some help striking the right tone on social media, talk to one of our experts today.

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