Do you make the most of it in your Facebook updates?
A consistent tone makes fans feel comfortable so they're more likely to interact with you.
In this article you'll discover how to establish your voice and use it to get more engagement on Facebook.
Match Your Voice to Your Fans' Expectations
Competition for attention is fierce on Facebook. If you want people to keep you top of mind, you have to give them increased value. That higher value gives fans a reason to come to your page and interact with your updates.
Ah, but how do you do that? To provide the right kind of value, you need to know why your audience is on Facebook in the first place. How do they use it? What do they look for? What do they interact with? What do they want?
Facebook users primarily seek out connectivity, community validation and media saturation/entertainment. Being marketed to isn't high on their list (if it's on their list at all).
Armed with that information, you can create a brand voice and updates that cater to user expectations and habits—and have a better chance of interaction (which leads to more visibility in the news feed).
Here are five ways you can develop your brand voice and use it to create Facebook updates that increase engagement.
#1: Keep Your Voice Consistent
One of the keys to expressing your brand's voice and tone on Facebook is using a conversational tone and avoiding marketing buzzwords.
Companies like Skittles, Coca-Cola and Red Bull have woven their established brand voice into their updates.
This makes their fans feel comfortable because that tone is consistent with the brand they've known for years, even before Facebook. That familiarity and comfort translate into high fan interaction.
Of course, those are big brands. If you're a small business, you may not have a built-in audience. That's OK. The same principle applies: make your audience feel at home.
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For example, the Havahart Facebook page is a small business successfully building their page and their tone is part of that success. Above you can see that they use a conversational and friendly voice, acknowledge the commenter by name and thank her twice for sharing her picture.
Friendly interaction and availability are what make small businesses stand out on Facebook, which in turn encourages fans to contribute user-generated content.
Now that you've established your tone, let's talk about what kind of updates you can use to let your personality shine through and make your fans want to be part of the conversation.
#2: Post Behind-the-Scenes Content
When you share content that shows your company's personality (which is directly tied to your voice), you help deepen the connection with your fans.
The best way to bring your audience into the fold is to share pictures. Not only because they're fun, but also because they're personal. By bringing your fans into your culture, they feel like part of your team.
The pictures you share can be anything from upcoming service days or fundraisers, fun things at the office (like pet day or April Fool's) or just office shenanigans.
For example, Country Lane Furniture posted a picture of one of their employee's children that is, at its core, much more than a cute picture.
The picture is funny and meant to catch your attention. But they take advantage of that attention by making the caption catchy, subtly promoting a specific product and including a call to action.
Sharing content like this translates into an emotional connection with your users. This is more than branding, it's sharing personal stories with your friends. Combining that connection with subtle selling works.
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#3: Highlight Company Values
If your company supports a particular cause or initiative, let your fans know. Giving back to the community or charities shows people your business isn't just about making the sale.
It's easier for people to associate with a brand when they understand its values and what the company stands for, and your Facebook page is the perfect place to help them make this connection.
Telling people about your involvement with charities benefits the cause itself because of additional exposure. At the same time, you're validating your commitment to community.
The popular cryptocurrency Dogecoin (think Bitcoin based on the doge meme) is known for their philanthropic efforts (they've raised an estimated $26 million).
Here's an example of a recent fundraising post from the Dogecoin Facebook page.
To encourage more engagement and connection, consider creating an update that serves as a fundraising tool. For every like your post receives, pledge to donate a monetary gift to a specific charity or non-profit.
#4: Consider Adding Humor
As we saw in the earlier Pew Research graph, over one-third of Facebook users cite seeing entertaining or funny pictures as their major reason for using Facebook. People like to share or like funny updates.
This doesn't mean you should overload your feed with irrelevant memes. Instead, try to find or create humor that fits your brand, products and services.
For example, Victor Pest, the American standard in mousetraps, uses creative and funny photos that tie into their brand's product. The Facebook update below isn't over-the-top hilarious, but it will surely crack some smiles.
Victor Pest's feed also includes educational tidbits about pests/rodents, the occasional product promotion, contests, community questions and even participation in the popular Throwback Thursday meme. All of these come together in a nice balance that holds their fans' interest because it's a good mix.
Maintaining a balance of varied content reinforces a brand personality that's fun, friendly and professional.
#5: Add Something Unexpected
Do you have recognizable online tone?
Do you make the most of it in your Facebook updates?
Companies don't normally exclude fans from anything. They want more fans and more interaction. The more people the better!
But sometimes going against the grain brings more attention because it's different from everyone else. Perceived exclusivity can be a powerful motivator.
Grey Poupon has always had a tone that conveys the company as rather highbrow (albeit tongue-in-cheek). In their Society of Good Taste campaign they took that expected brand tone a little further and connected with their fans in an odd way.
In a fairly extreme example, Grey Poupon (the mustard brand) invited fans to join the Society to get rewards and exclusive content. The catch? Fans had to be vetted to see if they were of “high enough quality” to be a member.
To vet users, Grey Poupon used a Facebook app that scraped data from the applicants' Facebook profiles. They looked at criteria such as number of friends, likes and location to determine if the fan was of high enough quality to be a part of the Society.
Believe it or not, the vetting process denied a fair amount of applicants and also rescinded that fan's likes. Limiting the growth of likes on Facebook seems counterintuitive, but the campaign went viral.
It molded a memorable brand tone while increasing their page's People Talking About This metric during the peak of the campaign.
Your goal is to create the most ideal first impression for new fans. If they see hard selling, too many random off-topic updates or memes and little engagement, they're going to have a poor perception of your brand's personality. That tainted perception bleeds into their view of your products or services.
Developing a healthy and unique brand personality is impressive to fans. It instills trust. If they see a balance of humor and education along with active user submissions, they're more likely to interact themselves.
What do you think? What's your brand's online voice? What's your voice on Facebook? Do you have additional advice on drawing fans to your Facebook page? Please leave your questions and comments in the box below.
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