Best Practices To Develop an Ownable Social Media Brand Voice

Key Takeaways on B2B Brand Voice & Tone πŸ“ˆ πŸ“Š

  • Social Media Requires a Humanized B2B Brand Voice: Social platforms necessitate a balance between professionalism and casual, real-time engagement, making rigid corporate speak inappropriate. Brands must navigate these platforms with a voice that feels individual and part of the collective community conversation.
  • Alignment with Core Brand Pillars is Essential: An influential social media voice is a blend of a company’s foundational values and the unique discourse style of each social platform, ensuring a relatable yet distinguished presence. This strategic alignment helps maintain brand integrity and relevance across social media ecosystems.
  • Key Attributes of Social Media Voice: Consistency, clarity, authenticity, and adaptability form the cornerstones of a successful social media brand voice, ensuring recognition and trustworthiness across various channels. These attributes help brands to be perceived as dependable and engaging, building a loyal audience over time.
  • Use of Brand Archetypes to Define Voice: Leveraging brand archetypes can provide a scaffold for creating a social media voice that is authentic to the brand and emotionally resonant with the audience. By embodying these archetypes, brands can communicate in a way consistent with their identity and adaptable to the fluid nature of social interactions.
  • Evolution of Brand Voice with Social Conventions: While a brand’s voice should remain consistent, it must adapt to the ever-changing landscape of social media trends and user behaviors. This evolution is crucial for staying relevant and connecting with an audience whose expectations and language use may shift over time.
  • A Defined B2B Brand Voice is Crucial for Differentiation on Social Media: In a crowded social media landscape, a distinct brand voice helps set companies apart and shapes how audiences perceive them amidst the noise. Establishing a brand voice that is both consistent and adaptable to platform norms is key to fostering recognition and building a community.​

What is a Brand Voice?

Establishing a distinctive brand voice on social media platforms is crucial yet challenging. Unlike formal websites and documents governed by rigid brand guidelines, social conversations require a more human, approachable voice. Brands must blend professionalism with casual language patterns that resonate in the more personal, real-time world of social networks.

An optimal social B2B brand voice originates from the company while feeling relatable. It aligns with core brand pillars like mission and values while adopting the conversational nuances of each platform community. For example, educational brands strike an informational tone with accessible language on Twitter while showcasing expertise through thought leadership content on LinkedIn.

Key attributes of an effective social media brand voice include consistency, clarity, authenticity, and adaptability. While the voice may change subtly by platform, it remains recognizable as the brand across networks. Personality shines through without compromising substance. And despite consistency, the voice evolves appropriately as new social conventions emerge.

Here’s a great explanation of brand voice:

Brands can also leverage brand archetypes as a framework for defining their social media voice. Identifying the archetype a brand best embodies – such as the Hero, the Explorer, the Creator, or the Sage – provides directional guidance on characteristics and values that can shape an authentic tone of voice.

For example, brands with a Creator archetype may adopt a voice that is imaginative, innovative, and expressive. The Caregiver archetype suggests a voice that is compassionate, helpful, and sincere. While not prescriptive, brand archetypes help brands align their social media voice with their core identity and resonate through deeper emotional connections with audiences. Considering how a brand fits within classic archetypes can strengthen the B2B voice development process.

5 Steps to Build Your Brand Voice On Social Media

Social media’s crowded landscape necessitates brand voice as the differentiator that sets companies apart. An authentic identity shapes audience perceptions amidst busy feeds. Establishing consistent yet flexible social brand voices, while challenging, fosters recognition and community.

Brand voice constructs affinity over time by reflecting company values that resonate with target consumers. Adapting tone to platform norms also demonstrates respect for each community’s culture. This balance preserves core attributes while adjusting language to user expectations.

Effective brand voice elicits an emotional response that drives engagement. Followers feel compelled to interact because their personality aligns with their own. This provides invaluable social proof to expand organic reach.

Additionally, an informal yet professional B2B brand voice conveys approachability and transparency. The demonstration of humanity behind a brand builds trust and credibility. Users see beyond faceless corporations to the real individuals behind them.

Remember, a brand voice is an identity. It defines who you are and how others perceive you on social media.

Step 1: Find Your Brand Identity

First, brands must identify aspirations versus external perceptions. Many conduct research to pinpoint target users’ views, needs, and social platform behaviors. Comparing findings to internal goals and ideals brings realistic voice expectations.

Questions like “How do users see themselves interacting with our product?” and “How does our vision differ?” uncover optimal voice strategies. There may be disconnects between brand ambitions and audience realities.

Table: Questions to Ask

What do you want to achieve?Defines brand goals and objectivesAwareness, engagement, conversions, etc.
Who are your target users?Identifies key audience segmentsDemographics, psychographics, preferences
How do they see themselves using your product or service?Provides user perspectiveUse cases, pain points, priorities
How does this compare to who you aspire to be, and how would it influence your voice?Compares brand identity to user viewsDisconnects, opportunities to refine voice
What is your brand personality?Focuses values and attributesFun, reliable, innovative, cutting-edge, etc.
What tone resonates with your audience?Considers how to communicateProfessional, conversational, helpful, etc.
What differentiates your brand voice?Clarifies unique value propositionSpecific adjectives commonly used to describe brand

With research insights, companies then craft voices tailored for each platform community. The brand voice on Twitter, for instance, often differs from a more formal LinkedIn tone, given the varied users.

Next, B2B brands prototype content across channels and collect feedback. Testing refines the voice, ensuring it resonates as intended. Brands also develop guidelines to maintain consistency across teams and networks.

Monitoring metrics like engagement and sentiment provides ongoing voice insights. As perceptions shift, brands recalibrate language and style accordingly. An adaptable social voice sustains relevance amid ever-changing consumer behaviors and interests.

With relentless testing and optimization, brands harness social media’s voice potential. The authenticity forged enables meaningful audience connections, ultimately building distinctive and enduring brand affinity.

Step 2: Establish Your Social Tone of Voice

Once a brand identity is defined, the next step is establishing an aligned yet unique social media tone of voice. Unlike formal websites or email messaging, social channels require more human, conversational language.

Table: Custom Tone of Voice Per Channel

LinkedInProfessional, educationalThought leadership, industry expertise, workplace adviceAligns to B2B focus, expert positioning
FacebookInformative yet casualBehind-the-scenes, tips and how-tos, spotlight employeesAllows more personal connection
TwitterConversational, wittyPolls, current events, engage with followersChannels brand personality and identity
TikTokYouthful, entertaining, conciseTrends, challenges, humorConsider brand values and audience match
InstagramArtistic, polished, visualProduct imagery, photos of customers/employees, quote graphicsCreative aesthetic must align to brand style
YouTubePolished yet relaxed, conversationalProduct videos, customer testimonials, vlogsProduction quality must fit brand level

Brands often craft slightly more casual voices for social while retaining core attributes of their overall identity. For instance, educational technology companies may adopt a professional, academic tone on LinkedIn while using more informal phrasing on Facebook without compromising substance.

Similarly, LinkedIn may focus on thought leadership insights, while Twitter highlights data through interactive polls and conversational replies. The tone adapts across platforms while staying recognizable.

social tone best practices
  • Maintain consistency with brand values and personality across channels
  • Mirror the language patterns of each platform community
  • Be authentic – social rewards candor over blatant marketing
  • Evolve tone over time as audiences and habits change

An adaptable yet consistent social tone allows brands to resonate across channels. The ideal B2B brand voice strikes a chord with audiences while still feeling true to the spirit of the organization. Brands must ensure their social presence sounds like an extension of their identity versus disjointed corporate accounts.

Step 3: Establish Creative Guidelines

Impactful social media creative seamlessly blends visuals and messaging to spark engagement. Innovative brands approach posts as two-part stories – the imagery hooks attention, and the caption payoff compels action.

Strategic setups pique interest with video clips, photos, graphics, or GIFs optimized for platform algorithms. This content should provoke curiosity and raise questions in the viewer’s mind.

The caption satisfies their intrigue with a compelling call to action, insightful stats, or a witty punchline. The pairing transforms passive scrolling into meaningful interaction. To maximize results, brands document creative guidelines for each channel informed by audience analysis. Is the aesthetic bold or refined? Do visuals feature people, and if so, in what context? What colors and image styles resonate?

Video content and high-quality photos are now mandatory to earn thumb stops. Budgets should fuel visual innovation, not limit it. Uniquely ownable creative is the currency that sets brands apart on social platforms saturated with competing messa

With a relentless focus on strategy, brands transform tangential social media audiences into loyal brand enthusiasts through creative storytelling rigor. The path to cut-through and consistency starts with meticulous, creative planning.

questions to consider
  • Will you be posting video content? If so, is it a B-roll, animated video with vector graphics captions?
  • What type of high-quality photos will you use, black & white color?
  • Will you have people in your creative? Men, women? Close-ups, zoomed out?

Investing in creative content for social media is no longer nice to have. It’s table stakes in today’s world. An innovative social media presence will separate the winners and losers, so creativity is essential to any B2B social media strategy.

Step 4: Stay Consistent When You Post On Social Media

Consistency and perseverance are vital to building an impactful social media presence. While major pivots occasionally reinvigorate engagement, brands should avoid reactionary content changes at the first sign of stagnant metrics.

Strategic patience enables community-building, allowing audience familiarity with visual styles, messaging themes, and content types to take root. Minor iterative testing refines approaches without losing continuity.

For example, brands may experiment with new hashtag campaigns or community activation challenges while retaining core content pillars. They might A/B test photo filters while maintaining consistent posting cadences.

Over time, analytics reveal optimal creative styles, topics, and formats to double down on. But giving each initiative time to register without jumping between tactics is key. For B2B brands, social media management platforms like Sprout and Sprinklr add consistency guardrails at scale. However, the mindset of persistent brand-building transcends tools

With sustained effort, social media cement brands in the daily lives of audiences. But familiarity emerges over months and years, not days and weeks. Patience and testing, not reactionary disruption, pave the road to memorability.

Table: Types of Social Media Publishing Platforms

Company SizePlatformsKey Capabilities
Small businesses & startupsSprout Social, Oktopost, BufferApp, HootsuiteScheduling, basic analytics, lightweight team features
Large enterprise companiesSprinklr, Khoros, Salesforce Social StudioAdvanced analytics, governance, multi-team management, social listening, API integrations

Step 5: Monitor Conversations & Engage

Once an active social media presence is established, brands must complement posting with active listening and engagement. Monitoring conversations provides invaluable community insights to refine content approaches on an ongoing basis.

Beyond tracking brand sentiment, forward-thinking social teams analyze the nuances of discussions mentioning the brand. Most chatter is neutral – not overtly positive or negative. Granular keyword and topic tracking provide a more meaningful direction than binary sentiment scores. Several brands now use narrative intelligence, which turns large data sets into cohesive narratives and themes. Data sets can include social media conversations, call center transcripts, media coverage, etc.

Community managers should prepare response protocols for both positive and negative engagement scenarios. Thoughtful interactions diffuse negativity while amplifying advocates.

Ongoing social media monitoring also reveals opportunities to join emerging conversations and reinforce messaging. With a clear B2B brand voice defined, teams can converse authentically on issues that matter to audiences.

Platforms like Talkwalker, NetBase, and Digimind enable sophisticated social listening at scale. However, a mindset of actively participating in discussions transcends tools alone.

Brands earn community trust by actively participating in conversations versus just pushing content. Combining listening and engagement creates mutually beneficial relationships, ultimately driving loyalty.

B2B Brand Voice Examples

BrandVoice AttributesPersonality TraitsContent Style
MailchimpConversational, approachable, transparentFriendly, funny, casualShort posts, visual content, pop culture references
SlackStraightforward, helpful, humanPractical, simple, efficientTutorials, tips, customer stories
HubSpotProfessional yet casualAuthoritative, conversational, educationalIndustry analysis, videos, how-to guides
MozFriendly, humorous, relatableAuthentic, plain-spoken, story-drivenBlog excerpts, comics, real-talk videos
MicrosoftProfessional, informative, confidentExpert, reliable, corporateProduct announcements, technology insights

B2B Brand Voice Template

The brand voice template summarizes the core personality traits, tone, and style that a brand wants to convey through its communications. It articulates the brand’s persona and how it should sound when interacting with customers and audiences.

The template includes key personality traits or attributes that embody the brand identity. For each trait, it provides a brief description along with examples of recommended behaviors, language, and approaches that exemplify that trait. Conversely, it calls out things the brand should avoid that would be inconsistent with the trait.


Download the brand voice template here (Google Sheet).

In essence, the brand voice template guides how to communicate verbally and in writing in a way that authentically expresses the brand’s intended personality. It aims to ensure consistency across communications channels and touchpoints.

The template acts as a reference and training guide for anyone creating content on behalf of the brand. This includes marketing, advertising, PR, social media, sales, customer service, and other roles.

By providing aligned guidelines on tone, style, and personality, the brand voice template helps shape communications that instantly feel recognizable as belonging to the specific brand. Adhering to the template builds familiarity and trust with customers over time.

FriendlyWe have a warm and approachable demeanor.Greet people with a smile. Make eye contact and small talk. Use positive and encouraging language.Seem cold or distant. Avoid eye contact. Use harsh language.
DependableOur customers can rely on us to deliver on our promises.Set realistic expectations. Follow through on commitments. Be transparent about any issues.Make unrealistic promises. Miss deadlines or deliver late. Hide problems.
EasygoingWe maintain a relaxed and flexible attitude.Stay calm under stress. Adapt easily to change. Keep an open mind.Become irritable or impatient. Resist modifying plans. Seem rigid.
ImaginativeWe think outside the box and suggest novel solutions.Brainstorm creative ideas. Make unexpected connections. Innovate new offerings.Stick to status quo. Follow a script. Shut down new suggestions.
EmpatheticWe aim to understand each customer’s perspective and needs.Listen without judgment. Put yourself in their shoes. Validate their feelings.Interrupt or stop listening. Assume you already understand. Invalidate their feelings.

Wrap-up Thoughts on B2B Brand Voice

Crafting an authentic brand voice on social media is complex yet crucial. Success requires meticulous research into audience psychographics and brand perceptions. With insights, brands can develop custom voices tailored to resonate across each platform community. An optimal social voice blends company familiarity with adaptation to the informal linguistic patterns of users.

Equally important is establishing creative guidelines that blend visual media and messaging to spark engagement. Compelling social storytelling transforms passive scrolling into active participation over time. Patience and consistency cement brands into the daily lives of users through sustained community-building.

Continuous listening and strategic engagement further strengthen relationships with audiences. Monitoring conversations provides actionable insights to refine approaches while interaction cultivates trust.

In summary, the path to social media relevance demands diligent brand voice development beyond reactive tactics. The substance must align with style to forge affinity on users’ terms. The approach rewards brands willing to invest in understanding nuanced platform dynamics. Distinctive voices that authentically engage communities deliver enduring impact and loyalty.

hot take

If your brand’s voice on social media is as bland as a cardboard sandwich, then you’re doing it all wrong. The digital jungle is teeming with copycats and wannabes, and if you’re not carving out a voice that cuts through the noise like a hot knife through butter, then what’s even the point? You need to strike that perfect balance between boardroom jargon and the casual banter of a backyard barbecue.

Get this: Your brand’s gotta be the life of the party and the sage on the stage, all while dancing the fine line between ‘corporate’ and ‘cool.’ So, if you want your brand to be the one people swipe right on in the endless social media speed dating game, then you better start spicing things up. Remember, in the world of tweets and likes, if you’re not authentic, you’re just another logo in the feed.​

Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.