Social media has changed the way we communicate with each other. Using social media is beneficial for ourselves as writers for the web. As we write on the web we are allowed to express ourselves freely. This is also helpful because it is a reminder on our skills as a writer.
As technology grows, businesses and organizations are able to use social media to expand their outreach to a larger audience. It is important for us, as web users, to understand the various techniques about how tone and voice, along with continuity, can help develop a persona for the web. This can be helpful to you as an individual, or to a business trying to expand over the internet.
What exactly is a user persona? A user persona is a fictional character a user creates. They are typically used in the user-centered design process to represent the different user types of a website. Personas can be useful and applied to your SEO (Search engine optimization). Voice, tone, and keywords can be used to develop your persona. First we need to better understand what your voice and tone is. This is a key component and will be beneficial to creating your web persona.
Voice and tone
An important tip for writing is to consider the reader’s state of mind. Ask yourself, “are they curious of what your topic or post is about? Are they confused, happy, sad or angry? What is their emotional state?” After you understand how the reader feels you can get an idea on the tone you want to create for your persona. Another tip to consider would be to understand that not everyone wants to be sold via social media. Remember, keep your tone conversational. As a writer you want people to stay interested and feel welcomed to continue on and read more.
There are various tones you can use in your writing. It is important to consider who you are writing to when you are setting a tone. If you are writing a post to promote a business, you want the readers to get a short snippet on what the business is. If you are writing a post linking to a touching story, you may want to consider using a personal/honest tone. Your tone and voice is what will draw your audience in. Using an aggressive/negative voice when trying to promote your page on supporting a cause you are passionate about may send the wrong message to your audience.
An important style tip for writing online would be to use an active voice. It is very important to avoid using a passive voice. You want the readers to feel your emotion and voice while they read your work. Another tip would be to write positively; avoid using negative language in your writing.
Although writing is an important to key to developing your persona, you also want to keep your design layout in mind when sharing your business/organization to social media. Whether it is Facebook or twitter, your layout of your page is important. Businesses will design their social media pages to match the colors of their business.
Let’s look at an example from Starbucks. Here is a screenshot of Starbuck’s homepage.
Notice how they incorporate their logo and company colors into their website design.
Now let’s look at their social media pages.
Could you tell the difference between the Facebook and Twitter pages? Starbucks has elaborately created continuity between their social media sites. Even though sites such as Facebook and Twitter are limited to what you can do as a user in design aspects, images, hashtags and the voice of the web writer can help any business/org express themselves throughout social media. There are millions of users on social media sites so it is a great business strategy to use these resources when expanding your company.
Voice and tone are also extremely important when linking to your business/org. When sharing outside links to Facebook, make sure to use the same voice and tone you used for your own webpage so that there is continuity.
- Use a conversational tone
- Understanding who your audience is
- Use an active voice
- Incorporate a style used throughout your social media posts