How to find your brand voice on Twitter

By Camilla Dudley, Lindsay Crider
Best practices

Whatever you want to say to your customers, there are a million ways to say it. To include emojis or not to include emojis? To crack a joke or not to crack a joke? To use corporate lingo or not? These are questions that lie at the heart of a company’s tone and voice.

What are tone and voice exactly?

Tone and voice go hand in hand, but they are slightly different. Put simply, your brand’s voice is your brand’s personality. Smart. Funny. Hip. Satirical. Your brand’s tone, on the other hand, is the application of your brand’s voice on certain channels, with certain audiences, for certain situations.

For example, if your brand’s voice is funny, much of your communication will include humor. However, when you’re sharing an update about a sensitive topic or issue, your tone should shift to be slightly more serious, while still keeping your brand’s casual style.

An exclamation point creates a tone of excitement to @GlowRecipe's conversational voice.

What makes for a strong brand voice on Twitter?

The quick, conversational nature of Twitter makes it a place where brands can be their most human-sounding selves. Often, this takes the form of the three C's: concise, clear, conversational. Let's take a look at some examples.

This thirty-one character, lower-cased Tweet from @EvolvedChoc is short and sweet (very on-brand!)

This Tweet from @KendraScott provides readers with a short, clear call-to-action.

@Workable, a B2B hiring tool, asks a question (a conversation staple) using a Twitter Poll.

How to find your brand voice on Twitter

  • Create guardrails 
    Looking at your wider brand guidelines, industry, and company values, come up with a list of topics, themes, words – even emojis – to avoid. Clear limits help to outline a safe space for creativity.

  • Consider your customers and industry
    Use existing knowledge about your customers to make a starting point. For example, if you're a retail brand and most of your social media audience is Gen Z, then perhaps a more casual or playful tone would be a better fit than something overly formal. On the flip side, a financial company Tweeting investing advice might want to be a little less playful.

  • Check out competitors' Tweets
    Look at Tweets from competitors and peers in your industry to see what types of Tweets are getting the most engagement. This can offer a clue into what resonates with your customer base – or it may inspire you to stand out and give your consumers a new type of conversation.

  • Test and iterate
    Tweet metrics provide real-time feedback. Pay attention to the tone (and content in general) that gets the most engagement. It may confirm your initial ideas, or may surprise you and lead to new insights.

Ready to get started? Download our "Find your voice on Twitter" worksheet for exercises to help you define your brand voice on Twitter.

Learn more about community management best practices