It is a known fact for every community manager and moderator that maintaining a positive-humanized tone in their online community can be a tough sail. For members, an online community is a space where they can express their concerns/challenges, cite product feedback, and generally, just have their voices heard.
It can get messy.
The informed customers of today want brands to strike more authentic and genuine conversations with them. Contributors can certainly talk about issues that are thought-provoking in an attempt to communicate their perspectives. This is why it is essential for organizations to understand user intentions and revert to them in a manner that’s more humanized.
So, as a brand, what should your call to action be to maintain a positive tone in your online community and foster a positive atmosphere? Let’s find out.
What’s the Difference Between Voice and Tone?
Voice means to establish a mission and tone is the application of that mission to achieve results. Although used interchangeably, voice is an element that remains consistent across any form of content that you craft. It is the one thing that expresses your unique values and personality and allows readers to identify your content among the rest.
Whereas the voice remains consistent, the tone can be changed. You adapt to different tones based on the situation. Let’s say, you wish to announce a new badge for community members who engage regularly to build up engagement. So, the tone for such announcements would be on the notes of being excited and happy.
The Importance of Using the Right Tone in Your Online Community
The tone that you use in your community has a major impact on your relationship with your customers. It can also influence your brand’s identity or hamper the overall performance of your online community.
- Empowers You to Build Connections: Research suggests that around 65% of users reported that they get emotionally connected to a brand in a way that they feel the brand actually cares about them. Adopting a more humane and friendly tone of the conversation with your audience encourages them to interact with you. Here, you get the opportunity to assist them, answer their queries, and turn a potential user into a lead.
- Builds Trust With Your Customers: Another research suggests that around 81% of users would continue to purchase from a brand that highlights its core values. Incorporating a tone in your community conversations that your users resonate with is an ideal way of getting them to cite their problems more openly and give them a sense of being heard. Not only will this enable you to win their trust but also keep them coming back to your community and participate.
- Strengthens Your Brand Image: Adopting a positive-conversational tone while interacting with your customers in your community on a daily basis gives them a sense of what ethics you follow as a brand, what the work culture is, and how you treat your customers. Ensure that you understand your customer’s perspectives and plan to answer them in a way that solves their problems. This way, you will be able to communicate with your customers on a deeper level, generate loyal brand advocates, and strengthen your market position as a brand.
3 Proven Tips to Maintain a Positive Tone in Your Online Community
The very first step in finding the right tone for your community is to start with developing a clear understanding of who your target audience is and what language would be accurate to reach out to them. The next step is to identify your brand’s core values that you should always keep in mind when responding to the members, whether to answer their queries or curate content.
Apart from the theory, what should you do to maintain this positive tone in your community? Here are a few points to consider:
1. Curate Clear Participation Guidelines: For many, this would simply mean curating a list of dos and don’ts that community users have to follow. However, it’s not limited to that. While you’d definitely want to bullet point prohibited user actions, you must focus on telling your users the kind of behavior they must adopt to participate in the community and keep it value-driven and thriving. Encourage productive member contribution and remember to acknowledge their efforts.
2. Familiarize Community Members With Your Brand Tone: It’s a community where people engage. Conversations can turn bitter. And sometimes, conversations take a route that you, as a brand, might not have thought about. Your users are, after all, human beings. And human beings have a tendency to mimic behavior based on their experiences. So, make sure you seed your community with content that personifies your brand ethics. Review toxic comments and clean them up to enforce a positive community atmosphere.
3. Handle Colloquial Language: A little constructive banter here and there doesn’t hurt. But it shouldn’t go too far. The usage of emojis and colloquialism has certainly become a key part of digital conversations, but it is not something that every member appreciates. In this scenario, you must understand the situation and ensure that you handle the situation delicately to keep the conversation light and positive and prevent it from taking the wrong turn.
With these handy recommendations, you will be able to maintain a supporting, welcoming, and progressive community atmosphere. Establish ground rules for the kind of participation you deem appropriate so that your community members can mimic the behavior that is consistent with your guidelines.
Establishing your brand tone in your online community empowers you to present clear community guidelines. For your customers, your community is a platform that they can access anytime to seek answers or to just vent, forgetting the main purpose. But with the right tone, there’s nothing that cannot be explained to the users, ultimately making them successful and maintaining your brand’s authenticity.
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