The tone of your online presence is one of those things that marketers often talk about, but seldom bother to explain in any great detail. Bruce Daisley created the “tone of voice triangle” – that funny looking graphic above this post. Each point of the triangle represents an aspect of your law firm’s tone, or to put it in more general terms – your law firm’s online personality. You don’t need all three of these aspects, just two. You can use the tone of voice triangle to determine you online personality – which two appeal to you the most, which two can you see being most comfortable using everyday in your online presence? Or, you can look at yourself, your own personality, and the overall tone of your law firm, and choose the two that best represent who you already are. This article will look at each point individually, and how to best use them in your social media marketing efforts. But first, let’s examine WHY setting a tone, or choosing an online personality, is so important.
Setting the Tone of Your Online Presence
Your online personality is so important because it will determine three things:
- The type of content you present
- The type of follower/client you will draw to you
- The social media platforms you choose
No one expects to find silly meme posts on LinkedIn, but on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, they rule. The laid back, easy going tone of your online presence may be the reason why you aren’t getting the straight-laced, buttoned down corporate clients you had hoped to attract. And that mix of fun and helpfulness that defines my online personality may not work for a defense attorney. (I could be wrong about that, though.) Setting the tone of your online presence will help you with planning and preparing your blog posts, social media posts, even your Tweets. And it can help you determine aspects of your law firm’s online marketing such as where to market, the audience to target, and the way in which you approach them. Now, let’s look at each aspect of that “tone of voice triangle” thingy at the head of this post.
Using a Fun Tone in Your Online Presence
Fun can be a tough one, so we’ll start with it. Humor is very personal, very subjective. What I think is funny, you might not. Brands that use humor in their online personalities often take a risk. It’s very easy to come off as offensive, or as unprofessional. When using humor, when being a “fun” law firm, when creating a fun side to the tone of your online presence, you’ll be taking a gamble, too. But if you yourself are a fun person, if you enjoy a reputation as the guy with the best sense of humor, it might make common sense to give a fun tone a try. Add some humorous asides to your blog posts, snap goofy photos to share, or just create (or follow) an appropriate meme. Your clients and potential clients will come from the crowd that appreciates that same sort of humor, and you’ll always have content to draw from when the writing/posting gets a bit tough.
Using a Helpful Tone in Your Online Presence
Most businesses choose to include a helpful tone in their online presence, and it’s a good bet that you have, too. After all, one of the easiest things to do is to offer to help. There is a difference between offering help and dispensing information, and much of it has to do with the tone and voice that you use to carry out that mission. I like to think of the articles I write here at BLP as helpful. Through following my advice, you can improve your marketing results, and therefore, solve your problems with your online marketing. A certain amount of information sharing is needed to be helpful, but I’m not spouting the latest news or developments in the world of online marketing, social media, or law firm blogging. I’m simply using the information and knowledge I’ve already accumulated to try and help you out. Helpfulness is always appreciated by clients and potential clients. And it comes naturally to most, making it easy to execute.
Using an Informative Tone in Your Online Presence
Do you closely follow the legal developments at the state or national level? Do you have a great store of knowledge in your field of law that you can pull from to enlighten others? If so, then adding an informative tone to your online personality may be just the thing for you. Just remember that you need TWO of the aspects of the tone of voice triangle, or you’ll end up coming across as a dry, boring law professor. (No offense if you ARE a law professor – I’m sure your students find you fascinating.) The trick is to temper the information giving with either fun and humor, or with a friendly, helpful tone. All that info won’t help if no one wants to read your blog.
Confused? Not certain which two points are the best for you? Not certain where to go from here? Contact us here at Best Legal Practices. We know stuff like the tone of voice triangle, and how to use it to best affect. We can help you determine which tone in your online presence is the right one for your law firm’s social media, and you.