A B2B brand should display consistency in its outward communications in order to retain audience attention. That being said, change is a vital part of growth, so don’t be afraid to refine and evolve how you communicate with your audience.
This post highlights how to develop a B2B brand voice that is both strong in its foundation and malleable in its ability to evolve with market changes and brand growth.
What Is a Brand Voice?
Simply put, a brand voice is the unique personality that your brand showcases in all outward communications. Because social media is essentially just digital communication, it is especially important to have a distinct brand voice that captures who you are as a company and what your messaging is all about.
A big part of a B2B company’s social brand voice is aspirational—it reaches for the stars and dreams of how engaging the content marketing function could be.
Who Are You Talking To, Anyway?
The audience aspect of social media is highly important. After all, “social” is built right there in the name. And defining who you’re talking to is vital. But it is only the first step—a jumping-off point to a lake of even more crucial questions:
- Which segments of your target audience are on social?
- Which platforms does your target audience prefer?
- Do your current followers fall within your target audience?
Often, in answering these questions, you will find that your current audience is not exactly who you want to be talking to. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’ll need to turn off the followers that are already there or that you’ll have to start over from scratch.
It simply means that you will start thinking of the specific audience you’ve defined with the aforementioned questions as you shape your message and voice.
In doing so, the people you do want to talk to will start showing up organically, and your current audience will either stay and grow with you or gradually leave to find their specific niche.
Developing an authentic brand voice doesn’t matter much if you’re not on the pulse of how your audience communicates with one another and what they care about!
If you’re talking mostly to executives and business decision-makers, you’ll want to frame your voice and content around the problems they face, which tend to be high-level views of how their businesses can grow—or at least not shrink.
On the other hand, if you’re speaking mostly to day-to-day users of your product or service, you’ll want to frame your voice and content around their everyday concerns. A “How-To” guide or playbook, for example, would hit this target audience much better.
If there are aspects of your business that require you to speak to two separate audiences—or if your audience changes as you mature and evolve—it doesn’t mean you’ll need to change your brand’s voice, per se. But it does mean you’ll need to change the tone around that voice.
Why Is Your Brand on Social Media?
In order to develop your company’s social brand voice, you’ll first need to look within to figure out what your social media goals are—why you want to be there in the first place! Is it a way to communicate with potential customers? Or maybe are you trying to attract dynamite talent? What about connecting with current customers?
Chances are it’s a mix of all three and then some. Social media is a great place for a variety of marketing and community-building goals. Just be sure to develop a voice and tone that are relevant and authentic within each of these goals.
How Can You Ensure Your Brand’s Social Media Voice Feels Right?
We won’t bury the lede here: The most important part of developing a brand’s social media voice that feels right is to be authentic. Don’t shape your voice to be something it’s not. And the way you do that is by not trying to be someone you’re not.
If your company deals in cybersecurity, for example, constantly posting memes from The Office may not make a lot of sense—that doesn’t mean there will never be a time and a place for it. It just means you should aim to come across as a company that can handle something as important and sensitive as cybersecurity. Conversely, if your company is in the MarTech space, you’ll want to appeal to marketers who value solid, engaging content.
Where Should You Begin?
We usually start by defining 3-5 keywords that sum up the essence of the brand. These are usually descriptive words that fall into the twelve brand archetypes derived from Carl Jung’s original set of personality archetypes. Often, B2B brands aim to come across as helpful, experienced, and approachable—or some offshoot of those words.
- What words feel right to you and your brand?
- How would someone embody those traits through their words?
Next, we figure out if there are notable differences between the content marketing voice and the social media voice. While these marketing assets should feel like they’re coming from a singular point-of-view or entity, your brand should seem a bit “looser” and more approachable on social media.
We then jump into the following questions:
- Do emojis fit into our voice? 🤔
- Do GIFs, memes, and other interactive elements seem aligned?
- Is there a marked differentiation between platforms?
- Oftentimes, B2B brands are more playful on Twitter and Instagram than they are on LinkedIn—again, an adjustment in tone, rather than voice.
- Are there any keywords or phrases that you’d like to weave throughout your digital narrative?
Lastly, documentation is your friend in this process! When you find something that works for your brand, write it down. This is so important, so we’ll highlight it once more: Create a Brand Voice document!! And make it a living document because, remember, your brand voice will (and should) evolve over time as your company grows and the market changes!
Developing a solid social media voice for your brand is so important and will weave into every aspect of your social media marketing efforts. As every screenwriter can tell you, once you know who your character is, you can put them into any situation and know exactly how they’ll act. The same is true for brand voice development.
Let’s talk about developing or strengthening your brand’s social media voice!