Using a Personal Voice to Engage with Your Audience Online: (RED)
It can often be challenging for organizations to develop a unique and relatable voice, but when representing your organization online, the voice you use is critical to successfully engage your audience.
Think of how some of your favorite organizations, nonprofits, and brands engage with you online. At first glance, visually appealing and interesting content may grab attention, but it is the organization’s personal voice that keeps community members interested and engaged in the long term. When you can relate to an organization on a personal level, it makes “liking” or sharing a post feel more natural – much like engaging with a friend.
(RED), an organization founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to help fight against AIDS, uses a relatable, down-to-earth approach online. When you see (RED) online you expect sleek visuals, recognizable faces, and a voice you can relate to – sometimes thankful, passionate, and even humorous or solemn, when appropriate. For example, (RED)’s use of humor in its well-known “What can 40¢ buy?” commercial, also edited for online use, appeals to its pop culture-conscious audience’s attention to show how even a small donation can help save lives. On the other end of the spectrum, (RED) recently showed support for friends and family of passengers on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH360 as a way to connect with its audience on a deeply personal level.
Ultimately, sharing content that ties back to your organization and its mission is essential, but being able to do it in a personal way will be more impactful. Read this month’s tips to learn how to develop a unique and relatable voice for your organization.
TIPS OF THE MONTH
(RED)’s ability to create engaging, timely, and sometimes even humorous content around a serious issue – the fight against AIDS – is an example of how an organization can succeed online by writing with a personal tone that speaks to its audience. This month, we share tips for maximizing engagement on Facebook from a Social Media Today article that can be implemented on any social platform.
- Be natural. Avoid formal language and replace it with a fun, personal tone. Remaining professional is a must, but adding a touch of humor or compassion can make for a great piece of content, as seen in the case study above.
- Be relevant. When posting, it is important to spread awareness of your cause by sharing your organization’s resources and messaging. In addition, try writing tweets that touch on trending or timely topics.
- Be emotional. Adding emotional appeal to your content can persuade your audience to share their experiences or participate in a conversation. Don’t be afraid to show you care!
- Be yourself. Most importantly, stay true to your organization’s tone and voice. Humor may not always be appropriate, but don’t be afraid to step outside of the box to explore how you can make a message resonate.