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Social Media Marketing Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Define and Create a Brand Voice

Updated on September 21, 2023
6 minute read

Find your voice. 📣

Published September 21, 2023

Whether you’re an established brand or just starting out, having a distinct brand voice is key to helping you connect with the right audience. 

But it’s not just what you say, but how it’s communicated — from email to social media interactions to captions, video scripts, and everything in between.

So, where do you start? 

In this blog post, we’re sharing how to create an unforgettable brand voice, plus, why it’s important to get it right.

And for even more ways to set your brand up for success, sign up to our free 5-day email series to market your business online!

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What Is a Brand Voice?

Your brand voice is like your company’s personality — it’s how you speak to your audience, whether that’s through advertising, social media, or customer service interactions. 

A brand voice encompasses everything from the words and phrases you use to how you structure your sentences and convey emotion. 

Brand voice - Mejuri

It's what sets brands apart and helps them connect with their target audience. 

And in a world where everyone is competing for attention, developing an authentic and consistent brand voice is the key to success!

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Why Is a Brand’s Tone of Voice Important?

In today’s social media landscape, a unique brand voice is one of the best ways to help grow your following.

Not only is it part of your identity but by consistently showing up with a specific voice, point of view, and design, you’ll be able to build brand recognition and engagement. 

Take Emma Mulholland on Holiday’s penchant for playful captions and punchy prints: 

Brand voice - Emma Mulholland on Holiday’s

From their choice of words and language to the personality and tone of their images — brand voice is everything, and anything, that portrays what your company is all about. 

Whether you identify as cheeky, friendly, or “unhinged,” there are tons of different types of brand voice (but more on that later).

FYI: If your industry isn’t known for being the most exciting, bookmark this blog: 3 Ways To Stand Out on Social Media When Your Industry Is "Boring"

3 Steps to Creating Your Brand Voice

When it comes to defining your brand’s tone of voice, here are three steps to get you started:

  1. Establish Your Brand Identity 

  2. Determine Your Target Audience

  3. Create a Style Guide

Step #1: Establish Your Brand Identity

The first step to creating your brand’s tone of voice is figuring out your brand identity.

Your brand’s identity is the foundation on which you’ll build upon. It’s your why and will help you shape your voice. 

With that in mind, ask yourself:

  • What’s your purpose?

  • How would you describe your brand in one sentence?

  • Reflect on your brand's "personality." Are you laid back, witty, professional, playful?

  • Consider how you would talk about your business, products, or services to a friend or potential customer.

Once you’ve got those on lock, you’re on the road to better communicating with your community. 

To help kickstart your brand identity journey, watch this video all about content pillars:

Step #2: Determine Your Target Audience

Before you start posting, you’ll want to determine your target audience (AKA the group of people who are most likely to be interested in and engage with your content).

Whether you're selling shoes or offering financial advice, defining your target audience is essential to developing a brand voice that actually resonates with them. 

To get the wheels turning, ask yourself:

  • Where is my audience located? 

  • How old are they, on average? 

  • What interests or values do they have?

Once you can identify your target audience and how you can serve them, you’re on the right track to building your brand voice.

TIP: Leverage what you know about your current customers (their interests, demographics, etc.) to help define your target audience on social media. 

Step #3: Create a Style Guide

A brand voice style guide is a blueprint that details the specific tone, language, and style that a brand should use across all its communications — from social media posts to customer service interactions. 

It ensures that everyone on your team — from writers to social media managers to customer service reps — is speaking a similar language and presenting a cohesive image of your brand to the world. 

So, what should be included in your style guide?

It varies based on the brand, audience, and type of content. However, here are some tips to get started: 

  • Your brand’s purpose and values

  • A definition of your brand’s "personality"

  • Guidelines on language, grammar, and punctuation usage

  • A list of specific words or phrases to avoid or embrace

  • Examples of your brand voice in action

By creating a brand voice style guide, businesses can be sure that their messaging is consistent and effective across all their social channels.

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8 Examples of Brand Voice

From cheeky to professional and everything in between, check out how eight brands convey their tone of voice to stand out from the crowd.

#1: Later

The team here at Later has a lot of fun creating content — focusing on talking about social media marketing in a friendly, educational, and approachable way: 

Brand voice - Later

#2: We're Not Really Strangers

We're not really strangers' use of informal language (using "u" vs "you") and first-person narrative showcases their direct, yet honest sensibility:

Brand voice - we-re not really strangers

#3: Fishwife

Combined with their ethical fishing practices and fresh flavors, Fishwife stands out from the crowd thanks to their comedic yet informative tone of voice:

Brand voice - Fishwife

#4: Starface

Everything from Starface’s product assortment on its website, to its social media presence, is reflective of its bright and sunny demeanor.

They approach content in a light-hearted and silly way, akin to their Gen Z audience.

Brand voice - Starface

#5: Saje

Saje channels its values into the brand’s tone of voice with a friendly demeanor and a wellness-focused, helping hand:

Brand voice - Saje

#6: Official Sean Penn

Official Sean Penn's personality shines throughout their socials — consistently using their signature cheeky pop-culture delivery (and memes): 

Brand voice - Official Sean Penn

#7: Airbnb

Airbnb's warm and welcoming storytelling is the foundation of its brand voice. They often showcase personal stories that aim to inspire travel amongst their community:

Brand voice - Airbnb

#8: Sundays Furniture

Sundays Furniture's simple design lets their chill, good vibes (and voice) shine:

Brand voice - Sundays Furniture

And that’s it!

By clearly defining your brand voice, you’ll be better equipped to engage with your community and in turn, lead to a boost in followers, conversions, and reaching your goals.

ICYMI: You can plan, schedule, and analyze your content with Later’s social media marketing toolssign up today!

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