social media voice

Not all social media sites are created equal. Though we tend to lump them together in our marketing strategies, each serves a fundamentally different purpose. As such, while your brand voice should be consistent, you’re not always better off merely copy-and-pasting your captions from one site to another. After all, what works for Instagram does not necessarily work for Twitter. Here are some tips to tailoring your voice on social media.

Find Your Own Voice

Finding and focusing your brand voice is one of the most important things you can do for your online brand strategy. Not only does it help engage your audience, but it will also help you define your purpose and mission. This is where you can have the most impact on readers.

As such, it doesn’t matter what you’re marketing, as long as you maintain your brand voice. You can dress it up or dress it down, but make sure you stay true to yourself as a means of ensuring you keep a good brand fit.

Know Where to Keep it Casual

There are certainly a number of social media platforms where you can keep your voice casual, meaning using expressions, abbreviations, asking questions, etc. Think of writing this type of content as the same as writing a thoughtfully crafted text message.

It is best to take this approach on platforms where writing isn’t the primary focus of content. This means Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and certain Facebook pots. People scroll through hundreds, if not thousands, of posts each day, and they rarely have the mental energy to appreciate, let alone engage with, a formal statement. Unless your branding excludes the use of colloquialisms or more casual copy, keep your tone light on these platforms.

Casual copy and content has the added benefit of driving audience engagement. Choosing not to sound formal and robotic helps to maintain a more human voice and establish a more authentic connection, an invaluable tone to set on your online platforms.

Take note that “keeping it casual” isn’t a license for sloppy writing, incorrect spelling or poor grammar. Even when writing colloquially, use proper punctuation and syntax, or you risk stepping on the wrong side of the line between casual and unprofessional.

Know Where to Dress it Up

It’s not great practice to be casual everywhere. You are, after all, representing a business, and you should be ready to dress up your copy from time to time. This means copy on your own website, or formal announcements on social media or elsewhere, should be carefully and formally written.

By dressing up, this means avoiding colloquialisms, using a more sophisticated vocabulary, and keeping things well-organised. Short paragraphs, concise sentences, you get it.

Business Time

Sometimes, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and write in corporate speak. This means avoiding conjugations, using technical and sophisticated language, and keeping sentences short and formal.

So there it is, as easy as Insta-pie! Now you’re ready to start writing better copy for whatever platform necessary.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations (5WPR)

Ronn Torossian


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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.