How to develop your social media tone and voice

If you have been around social media long enough and witnessed all the changes that have taken place, what comes to your mind?

I’m sure it something related to how hard it is to build or engage an audience, right?

But if you ask most social media managers why engagement stats are dropping below the fold, they will point to the constant algorithm changes as the real culprits, isn’t?

But that maybe half the story.

There are other factors like content types, changes in consumer’s tastes and demands, competition, and what most social media managers and strategist aren’t talking about: humanizing your brand – as the most significant factors influencing reach, performance, and audience engagement.

In this segment, we will devour two factors in humanizing a brand (tone and voice) to help make your brand more reliable, familiar, and humane: that will go along way in building trust and engagement among your audience.

First things first, why should you humanize a brand?

There is an old marketing assertion that: “people love to buy from people.”

Humanizing a brand is a way of making a brand feel more like a person. Since it is more challenging to assign qualities or personalities to a corporate name or logo, tone and voice are the most convenient ways brands can use to make themselves feel more like a fictional character.

In today’s ever-changing world, humanizing a brand on social media has become more of a necessity resulting from all the changes that are taking place on social media. It is the only way brands can gain a competitive edge on social media – as humans make connections and invest their time and money on them.

How to humanize your brand on social media through tone and voice

What is social voice?

Voice is the steady but a distinct style of your brand: no matter the channel or situation. There are several ways brands can use to describe their voice in social media. We can say your brand’s voice in social media to be emphatic, knowledgeable, helpful, or friendly.
It can also assume a positive, inclusive, and transparent language that feel comfortable as if talking to one another.

For example, one can describe AWS voice as knowledgeable, helpful, and educational no matter the channel they use for communication. As you can see, they engage in making users aware of their Amazon S3 learning materials, boot camps, learning Amazon Web services, and providing technical lessons and courses to their audience.

social media tone and voice

What is social media tone?

The tone is a branch of voice. It is the moods and attitudes of the specific content piece which change depending on the situation, audience, and channel. Unlike the voice, it can differ from one piece of content to another.

Here are the factors affecting the tone:

  • Audience.
  • Message.
  • Purpose.
  • Changes in social media.

E.g., The tone you use to inform your audience of product defects differs from that of product launches.

See this example from coca cola: how the tone changes from one giving you a chance to win a ticket for the ICC World cup to another asking a customer choose which product they would buy. The former appears to be authoritative, caring, and to support regulation while the latter is witty, funny, or cheerful.

social media tone and voice social media tone and voice

As you can see, the tone is more of a variable factor affected by the activities taking place in your brand or social media while the voice remains constant, not influenced by either internal or external factors happening in social media.

Benefits of having a distinctive tone and voice?

  • Kills the business jargon making communication with the audience easy.
  • Your audience can see and engage with the content.
  • It sets you ahead of other businesses.
  • Turn your business into a brand.
  • Build trust with your customers as they will find you familiar, human, and reliable.

Three essential tips for a brand wishing to develop tone and voice

1. Review your brand personality

Remember, setting a tone and a voice is about humanizing your brand- like talking to someone face-to-face. As you review your brand’s personality, you can ask yourself: how you speak? How would you open? And what about the audience? How do they open to you or connect with your brand?

The list of questions you would ask yourself is endless, but the answer can be your brand assumes a friendly, witty, edge, authoritative like for government agencies, passion, or energetic tone.

How to humanize your brand personality

  • Choose a handful of words and character describing your business and write them somewhere those writing social media messages can see them.
  • Instill a culture.
  • Use social listening and monitoring tools to help you work your way around humanizing your brand.
  • Conduct competitive and benchmarking analysis of how other brands develop their tone and voice.
  • Involve employees in your social media activities.

2. Your brand’s context

As mentioned before, social media and the people using it are changing each passing day.  While the voice you use won’t change, think of what tone you will use under different circumstances: like when people compliment you or when you are responding to some customer complaints.

Here are what to ask yourself when developing context.

  • Ask yourself the purpose of the content.
  • Whom are you writing for, how do they feel, what do they understand?
  • What kind of social media post should you use? Would you use UGC content or prefer content made by your in-house team?

3. Be human

Think about your audience background, goal, and mood when they come across your content. Remember, it’s humans that are using social media and not machines. Avoid sharing or commenting on things that may affect a person’s religious belief, cultural background, however funny or exciting it may be. Be in the audience shoes before you react to any content shared by you or your audience on social channels.


Humanizing your brand on social media may seem to be of less value, yet it one of the easiest and essential ways to build and engage your audience online. By having an established voice and tone in all your communications, you will build trust and authority in your customers through the content types you provide.