Podcast - Building a social media strategy - part two

In this, the second part of a two-part episode, we'll be looking in more depth at building a social media strategy.

Welcome back to the Simply Business podcast. In this, the second part of a two-part episode, we will be exploring the idea of a social media strategy.

In the last episode we talked about the importance of building a comprehensive social media strategy. We discussed the benefits of setting out your ideas clearly, and of providing yourself with a framework on which to build your social media activities.

In this episode we will be exploring the idea of the social media strategy more deeply, thinking about things like tone of voice, consistency, and engagement.

Tone of voice is one of the most important elements of any marketing strategy – and yet it’s frequently left to the last minute, or forgotten altogether. In reality though, you need to consider tone of voice from the very first moment you start interacting with current or potential customers – either online or offline.

When you’re developing your tone of voice for marketing communications, you should normally begin by considering your audience. Who are you writing for? Depending on the area in which you operate, your potential customers might be expecting a certain type of communication. For example, if you are providing business to business services for accountancy firms, your tone of voice will probably be rather different to that used by the lifestyle publishing business company nextdoor.

Sometimes, though, you might benefit from crafting a unique tone of voice – one that sets you apart from your competitors. Innocent Smoothies are a good example of this. The drinks company has build a very specific rapport with its customers based on a sense that it is slightly kooky and slightly outside the mainstream. This can be an effective way of drawing attention to your brand, particularly in a crowded market – but, of course, you should consider what is appropriate for your business.

Tone of voice construction should go hand in hand with general brand building exercises. Your tone of voice, just like your logo or even your business name, should remain consistent across all marketing activities. This means that you should be using the same tone when you interact on Twitter as you use in your marketing emails, and on the phone.

In order to become consistent, you need to codify your tone of voice. Produce a guideline document setting out things like styling for common words and phrases, along with general instructions for tone. You might choose to reference other businesses from which you intend to take your cue. Make sure that this document is shared with everybody in your business who communicates with existing or potential customers. You should also consider providing tone of voice refreshers every few months to make sure that everyone understands what is expected.

Finally, you should remember that a successful tone of voice project will be constantly developing. Your tone of voice guidelines should be considered a living document – they should change and grow in order to reflect the changing nature of your business. Consistency is vital, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be flexible. Make sure that you revisit your tone of voice guidelines frequently in order to ensure that they’re still right for you.

In the next episode of the Simply Business podcast we’ll be looking at building engagement on social media, and taking online networks offline.