The internet is a weird place. It seems to be getting weirder by the day. Irreverent humor is as popular as ever, and hashtags trending on Twitter seem to come from nowhere. It can be tough for brands big and small to nail down exactly what their voice sounds like on social media in all the chaos. You don’t want to fall into the trap of copying other brands, and you certainly don’t want to put your foot in your mouth in a public way.
At a time when Scrub Daddy posts on TikTok about having sex and babies with the Duolingo owl, Pabst Blue Ribbon is telling people to eat ass, and Snickers is making sexual innuendos about veins, it seems like the line for what is “fine” for brands on social has pretty much disappeared. Thank sassy 2012 Wendy’s Twitter for starting it all, I guess. Your brand certainly doesn’t need to be this outlandish to make a connection with your followers. Here’s how to start.
The brand accounts with the most recognizable voices don’t try to be everything, everywhere. Whether you’re doing a brand social revamp or launching your business on social media for the first time, choose one platform to first cultivate a writing style and sense of self. I would suggest Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram, depending on your product and audience demographics.
For example, if your target customers are homeowners, you may not see the best results on TikTok, as the platform is primarily used by Gen Z and Millennials, many of whom don’t yet own homes.
In fact, you can determine a lot about your brand’s voice by asking yourself this question:
Try to distill your target demographic into one person. How and where are they spending their time online? Sprout Social offers some great insight into social usage by demographics to use as a starting point. What type of content would this person find useful, informative, or funny? What would they find distasteful? Put yourself into the mind of the type of person you hope to become a customer.
Then, meet them where they are.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of hopping on the bandwagon of every viral trend. While that may not hurt anything, it likely won’t bring you any special attention, either. Before you comment, retweet, or post because of a trend, ask yourself: is this content relevant to my brand in a meaningful way?
It would be a better use of your time to seek out user-generated content (see: A TikTok on what it would sound like if Taylor Swift wrote a song about Nationwide Insurance) about your brand or topics related to your brand than to ride the wave of every viral trend. Comment on others’ posts in an authentic way–you might be surprised at how much excitement you can build around your business.