HOW TO: Create a Voice and Tone for Social Media
in Social Media / 18 Jun 2018
With more than 2 billion users, social media is a powerful and growing medium of communication today. While several churches have a social media presence, not all of them are utilising the platform effectively.
In fact, a common mistake that most churches make is to use a voice and tone that does not reflect their true character. In other words, a church’s communication on social media is often not true to its personality.
Is your church making the same mistake on social media? If so, this blog post will help you rectify this error. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about creating and maintaining your church’s voice and tone on social media.
While creating attractive posts and ensuring engagement are important to establish a good social media presence, it’s equally essential to be mindful of the language that you use to communicate. That’s where voice and tone come into the picture! Identifying your church’s unique voice and tone will help your church go a long way in establishing a sound social media presence.
So, what is voice and tone? Kevan Lee from Buffer Social explains that voice is simply your brand’s personality described in an adjective while tone is the expression of your brand’s personality. For instance, if you would describe your church as contemporary and friendly, you would use an informal and conversational tone in your communication.
WHY IS CREATING A VOICE AND TONE IMPORTANT?
One of the key advantages of creating a unique voice and tone is that it helps you establish a long-lasting social media presence. Keep reading for three ways that a decided voice and tone can help you achieve that.
1. EXPLAINS WHO YOUR CHURCH IS TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Your church’s voice and tone is a reflection of your church’s personality. Therefore, it also communicates your church’s God-given vision. For example, if the vision of your church is to connect and engage with young adults in your community, your voice and tone will be along the lines of contemporary, friendly and fun.
Not to mention, using a unique voice and tone would also be a great way for your church to break “churchy” stereotypes and misconceptions. Did you know that one of the commonly held misconceptions is that church is a building? Well, the language that you use in your communication can reflect how the church is about people and not the structure.
2. MAKES YOUR CONTENT STAND OUT
Joe Pulizzi, author and content marketer, says, “Every piece of your content should be excellent enough that customers are compelled to share it.” We couldn’t agree more!
Did you know that 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated and 136,000 photos are uploaded every minute on Facebook? What’s more, 6,000 tweets are posted every second. Considering there are billions of active users, it’s not surprising that social media is a highly active platform.
How can you ensure that your content stands out among the multiple messages? Communicating using your church’s unique voice and tone can help to ensure that your messages stand out in the clutter and grab the attention of your audience.
3. HELPS YOU BUILD TRUST
Using a unique voice and tone in your communication can help you build trust with your audience. Well, how does this happen? Taryn Davies, a content marketer, says, “When customers identify a tone of voice, they’re also identifying a personality. They start to form an image of a person or company based on the tone of voice you present.” This is not surprising considering that using a unique voice and tone helps you humanise your content.
Did you know that millennials are the least likely age group to attend church today? What’s more, Barna Group found that young adults leave churches because they feel that they’re for “insiders only”. Well, why not leverage your church’s voice and tone to shatter these misconceptions and build trust with your audience on social media?
HOW CAN YOU CREATE AND MAINTAIN YOUR CHURCH’S VOICE AND TONE?
While creating your voice and tone for social media is important, it can be tricky. That is why we’ve listed three tips that can help you identify your voice and tone and maintain it in the long run. Take a look:
1. DETERMINE YOUR CHURCH’S PERSONALITY
Since your church’s voice and tone greatly depends on its unique character, you need to first capture your church’s true personality. According to Dave Adamson, online pastor at North Point Ministries, “The voice you reflect on your social media has to be the voice you have on Sunday morning.” He says that visitors find nothing more disappointing than learning that a church was far from what was portrayed on social media.
So, how can you ensure that your voice and tone is true to your church? Here are four basic questions that will help you do just that:
i) What is your church’s personality like?
Examples: Welcoming, humorous and witty
ii) What isn’t your church’s personality?
Examples: Critical, harsh and unsympathetic
iii) If your church was a person, what kind of personality would it have?
Examples: Lively, joyful and friendly
Note: Answering this question will help you get a clear idea of what your church’s tone should be.
iv) How would you like your audience to perceive your church?
Examples: Understanding, spirit-led, fun and friendly
With the answers to the above questions, you will have an outline of what your church’s personality is. This in turn will help you determine your church’s voice and tone. Using the examples above, here’s what the voice and tone would look like: cordial, warm and welcoming.
For instance, Bethel Church has crafted a tone that is casual yet credible and fun, which draws from their vision of reflecting heaven on earth. You can click here to read about how the church’s vision and tone connect. You can also take a look at how the church’s voice and tone reflects in their posts on Facebook:
What is your church’s tone going to be described as?
2. DOCUMENT YOUR CHURCH’S VOICE AND TONE
Once you’ve identified your church’s voice and tone, it’s time to document it. This way you and your team will have something to refer to. What’s more, having a record of your voice and tone will ensure uniformity in content irrespective of who the curator is.
So, how can you document your church’s voice and tone? We’ve shared a simple and successful format below that you can take advantage of:
3. EXPLAIN YOUR CHURCH’S TONE TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM
Apart from documenting your church’s voice and tone, it’s also good practice to explain these concepts to your social media team to help them improve their social media strategy. While doing so, it’s key to explain the reason behind your church’s unique voice and tone.
Simon Sinek, leadership guru and marketing consultant, said that explaining the why is more motivating than stating the what. Therefore, explain to your team how your church’s voice and tone is closely connected to its vision. This will help your team to truly understand the voice and tone created and to use it effectively.
In fact, the voice and tone you create for your church’s social media can be an effective template for you to follow on all your communication channels such as website, blog and e-mails. This will help you build trust with your audience, which will go a long way in establishing a long-term relationship.
Your church’s voice and tone will help you reflect your church’s God-given vision, connect with your audience and ultimately establish a strong social media presence. We hope that the tips in this blog post help you identify a voice and tone that is true to your church’s character.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you will certainly find our e-book helpful! We have curated a list of 50 Common Mistakes on Church Websites to help you identify and fix errors on your church website. Download your FREE e-book below.
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