Ever notice how parents know the sound of their child’s cry even when surrounded by groups of children or how a pet owner knows their dog’s bark or cat’s meow? Those familiar sounds make us stop what we’re doing and pay attention to that loved one. The tone of their “voice” cuts through the noise and grabs our attention.
The same is true in business. When you use a recognizable tone, your customers listen and respond. They need to “hear” your voice in your social and business interactions so that they can get to know it. Here’s where you should be using it.
Often we’re so busy finding the right content to share that we simply hit the schedule button and we’re done with it. If that’s what you do, you’re missing a connection opportunity. Instead, tell your audience why you’re sharing the content, what resonates with you about it (as in a specific quote or example), or your opinion. Most people don’t do this so when you give insight into why you’re sharing, people will be more likely to click. Plus, you look like less of a bot. Check out this example:
Shift used a lead-in we can all relate to (and a stunning image but that’s a topic for another article).
A business blog without a voice is as exciting as watching grass grow. Blogs are a place to shine to lend your personality to issues regarding your industry, how-to’s, best practices and more. Blogs are not meant to be stoic, “just the facts” iterations of events. Breathe life into each post with your personality. After all, people do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Throw away your business communication textbooks from the 80s. Emails aren’t formal business letters. Every email you write should allow for some of your business’s tone and personality shine through. Subject lines can incorporate emoticons or emojis. Sentences can be phrases. Emails are not college essays. Make them interesting and then ask the reader to do something. They’ll be more likely to do it if they feel like it’s a personalized communication and one of the ways to achieve that is through lending it your voice.
You don’t have to record the same boring hold message that every business has. You can, and should, incorporate your voice in your greeting and auto attendant. If employees have a phone script, use your tone in that as well.
Your business tone should be incorporated into your web copy as well. Not just the text but forms, landing pages, giveaways, even your redirect pages.
A Final Word about Your Voice for Your Business
Before you begin inserting your voice into your business communications it’s important to figure out what you want that to be. Brainstorm the words you want to be associated with your business. Do you want to be seen as helpful, but irreverent? Fresh but knowledgeable? Place parameters about what you want and don’t want to be. Does it fit your audience and industry? Tweak it until it does. Here’s more information on how you can find your company voice.
Next, share it with your staff. Make sure everyone in contact with your customers knows your company tone and voice. That “sound” will be how they recognize you. It becomes part of your brand so be consistent in its usage.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of Association Executives’) Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.