To know what your tone of voice is saying about you, we should first look at what tone of voice is. If every tweet, status update, wall post, and blog post were an actual conversation or real out-loud comment, what would the impression be, based not on the words said, but how they’re said. In my opinion, what is said isn’t nearly as important as how it’s said. I think we’ve all witnessed this in some fashion or another. I’m sure you can think of an example from class.
Often times, people take an adversarial or aggressive tone without even realizing it. Remember those attributes we identified of brands we trust and admire? Those are largely arrived upon based on a particular brand’s online of tone of voice most likely.
The online Tone of Voice is so important because it really lets people get to know your brand (which is really you in this case). What were those attributes that you identified from those brands? And, what attributes did you decide you wanted to be associated with? Maybe it was ambition, trustworthiness, or innovation. How does someone who is ambitious sound in conversation? They’re probably very passionate and excited. Someone who is trustworthy probably sounds very responsible. And, if a person was innovative, you would expect them to come off as an experimenter. You get the idea.
So, just as we had a little exercise last time, let’s do the same thing today.
Look at the last 5 Facebook status updates and last 5 tweets that you wrote yourself (not retweets).
How do these sound? Have a close friend or family member read them. What might work best for this exercise is to copy/paste them into a text file and print them out and ask someone to read them. I realize this sounds cumbersome. But, to get honest feedback and really examine who we are online this will be beneficial. What words come to mind? What feedback do you anticipate receiving? Compare this to the feedback you actually receive.
In my post last week, I asked you to take a look at what brands you identify with and why. This week, we’re looking at how we sound online–our Tone of Voice. Hopefully, we have identified a direction to move our brand in, and, now, where our brand is. So, we know where we want to go and where we are now. Now we can start moving in the right direction!
Jonathan has broad ranging experience and currently works in eMarketing at Thomson Reuters in the Twin Cities area. He is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State Universitywhere he majored in Marketing. Prior to returning to Thomson Reuters, where he had an internship during college, he worked for Expedia in an account management role for their North American lodging business. Jonathan is an avid enthusiast of all things marketing, economics, and travel. And, he is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter (@jonathanpetrino), LinkedIn, and his website.