Best Practice #4: Maintain a Consistent Voice

Oct 25, 2012 12:00 PM ET
Best Practice #4

5 Best Practices for Public Health Departments' Social Media Strategy

Best Practice #4: Maintain a Consistent Voice

A consistent voice represents a consistency in brand persona. Think of the Mac verses PC commercials from several years ago. Apple was embodied as young and hip while PC’s were boring and corporate.  What is your department’s persona? Why would your constituents change their behavior based on the recommendations of a brand that appears to be untrustworthy, unenthusiastic or inconsistent?

No one “voice” is perfect for all departments or for all social media platforms. The goal for each department should be to find a voice and then maintain that voice in every social media endeavor.

Josh Ochs suggests, “the benefit to (a consistent, customer-focused) approach, is you won’t be selling to your customer, but instead you’ll be helping them.  This helps you stop being a salesman and start being a friend. Customers have so much going on, that if you try selling something to them using your words (or industry jargon) you’ll be sure to get a very low response on social media. However, when you discuss the conversation already happening in their head, you’re sure to get an answer and you’re more likely to turn a follower into a response (and maybe that response into a customer).”

Having “a consistent voice” does not exclusively refer to just consistency in tone (e.g. casual or formal, mature or friendly, etc.). In addition, a consistent voice is one that always speaks to the same audience and focuses on the same health topics or behaviors. For example, one department’s Facebook page may state that its goal is to provide healthy eating tips. If the department suddenly starts sharing anti-smoking tips, the voice will be just as inconsistent as a voice that vacillates between formal and casual.

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