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  • Writer's pictureAlison Ellerbrook

It's not what you say, it's how you say it

Updated: Oct 25, 2017

Social media is not about posting updates, sharing events or showing off your product. Social media is all about having a conversation with your target audience. If you don't find your brand's voice it will be difficult to make your audience care about what you're saying.

Tone of voice

Do you know what your organisation's tone of voice is? Don't even start tweeting or posting on Facebook until you've nailed this. This is the essence of your brand's personality. People buy from people and it's essential to humanise your brand so your audience can connect. Consider the character of your brand and the general vibe it has as well as why you're using social media.

If your brand was a person, what would he/she be like? What tv shows would they watch, where would they hang out? Write as if you are this person. Always write as if you are having a conversation, ask questions and you're far more likely to increase engagement.

Target Audience

You should already know who your target audience is, if not, I hope you haven't spent a tonne on advertising yet! Spend a decent amount of time researching this before investing in promotion. Make sure what you're talking about is relevant to this audience and use the right language. There's no point using millennial hashtags if your target market are in their 50s, and don't use old school references if you're trying to appeal to twenty somethings.


Make sure you use language that flows and is easy to read; long winded, complex text and jargon is offputting. The tabloid press write for a reading age of 8-12 years producing easy-to-read articles that appeal to the shortest of attention spans. Even the broadsheet newpapers write for a reading age of around 15/16 - it's not about dumbing down, but keeping text snappy.


Remember, you need to start a conversation and inject your brand's personality into it.

If you outsource your social media, ensure you use someone who will familiarise themselves with your brand and tone of voice. It's not about sticking something on Facebook or Twitter a few times a week and hoping for the best.

Above all, focus on building engagement and trust before you do anything else on social media.

Alison Ellerbrook delivers social media management and content creation for small businesses in Northumberland and North East England.

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