Thursday, February 17, 2011

consistency is key for social media

One of the greatest challenges of any marketing program, especially in companies that are not 'marketing organizations at heart' is keeping up the consistency and frequency while staying the course



Tone of Voice - Voice + Tone

Voice + Tone
What are we goanna talk about?
What is voice + tone
An example scale
Translating the scale 

The Firm
Voice is the editorial representation of a brand. It stands for a brand’s personality, it’s attitude towards it’s customers, and conveys a brand’s positioning to all it’s target constituencies
Voice + Tone is important to –
Strategise the role of text in an application
Create standards for nomenclature and diction
Ensure the consistent execution of text
Establish the broad contexts to which text behaviour must be tailored

Our Firm XYZ
Lets imagine a company – XYZ – and industry player in a sector teeming with new entrants that threaten to change the nature of the game
XYZ is trying to roll out new products and services that anticipate industry trends, without alienating its core customer base

The Firms Brand
XYZ brand wants to –
Convey innovation, youthfulness, energy, freshness, and approachability
Encourage the user to do more
Educate the customer about the possibilities of the service experience, their relevance in daily life, and how XYZ products and services occupy vital slots in this experience
Create a relationship with the customer and be responsive to their needs
Promote a cycle of Sales
Stay true to the brand image or performance, energy and vitality
The Voice + Tone recommendations must be geared to support the key premise the concepts are based on

Voice + Tone recommendations
The firm’s tone should therefore project confidence borne out of leadership, empathy based on it’s awareness of customers needs, practicality that drives a users goals,  trustworthiness, energy and vitality in keeping with it’s brand promise. And approachability which is essential to stimulate a dialogue across all segments to build relationships,

Here’s what the Tone + Voice scale might look like for XYZ


Translating the Voice + Tone Best Practice Guidelines
So here are a few guidelines for those writers/editors trying to make sense of the Voice + Tone scale
Confident – quite confidence is the key
Don’t shout out from the rooftops about the superiority  of XYZ products and services
Let facts, not adjectives, do the talking
Empathic – Make the reader the focus of the information
Don’t talk about products or services in isolation from the needs they fulfil for real world users
Represent the reader when creating content, include feedback where necessary, answer the questions that people have
Practical information – It’s useful when useable
Concentrate on the value and practical purpose of the information
Focus on the meaning inherent in each piece of information not merely the ground it covers
Trustworthy – Trust is the foundation of relationships
Never allow bias, inaccuracy, or hyperbole to creep into content
Build predictability into all content functions, whether they be feedback response time, update frequency,  positioning of content, or the quality/quantity of information available
Energetic/Vital – Share your energy
Update content regularly, create a sense of action and movement
Motivate action, encourage the reader to act on the information rather than merely absorb it passively
Create a sense of empowerment for the reader; the content should lead to actions, not dictate them
Approachable – Be there for your customer
Build cues into all content to make it easier for your user to find related information
Create simplicity out of complexity – making sense is more important then overwhelming the user with information
Don’t dumb down content, only scale down the level of complexity
Write to all segments of your readership

General principles of Tone + Voice for Web
Supplementing the Voice + Tone guidelines with the following principles for web

Build multiple points of entry into content (meaningful headlines, comprehensive introduction, explanatory graphics/charts, key points, labels) so that readers can capture important information at a glance

Build ‘scannability’ into content by breaking it up into logical chunks that suggest flow and perspective of the content

Recommend clear next steps that put the purpose of the content into practical perspective

Use familiar (or standard) and simple terms when creating nomenclature; make the nomenclature point to the destination page

Ask the readers to get involved by soliciting feedback