Sometimes it isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it. That’s a lesson many of us have learned all too well in the age of digital communications. You meant one thing in that email or text message, but the recipient took what you said to mean something else entirely. While you may not run into the exact same problem with social media marketing, how you say something is vitally important in those endeavors too. It’s known as your brand’s voice.

Your brand’s voice is an important part of other marketing initiatives, so it deserves your consideration on social media as well. Here are a few tips for crafting a social voice that best connects with your audience:

1. Adapt. Brand consistency is important in every part of your marketing. Social media isn’t an exception to that rule, but it does require some flexibility. The same voice and approach used on a corporate brochure or website, for example, would feel very out of place on social media. Be sure to tone down the formality of your writing and be more conversational. Use language that engages and encourages participation and conversations, not just one-way communication.

2. Define your personality. Between B2B and B2C brands, personality-wise, B2B brands are more likely to be more professional than personal, but you should define that for your own brand. Maybe the nature of what your B2C brand sells requires a more serious approach. Is your company completely buttoned up? Or do you let touches of fun shine through? If your brand was a person, what would its personality be? One way to help define your brand personality is to state what your company is versus what it is not. “We are educational, but not boring” or “We are lighthearted, but not goofy,” for example.

3. Be concise. Attention spans today are notoriously short, particularly on social media. Twitter already imposes limits on the amount of text you can include in a post. For the other platforms, you should take care to limit yourself. Being concise in your posts will help increase readability and engagement. When crafting a post, always ask yourself if it could be shorter while still effectively conveying your message. And rely on visuals in your posts to help tell your story.

4. Avoid jargon. Every industry has it and it seems to find its way into many different forms of marketing copy, but jargon truly has no place in your social voice. The point above about brevity alone should be enough to convince you that jargon doesn’t belong on social. Every word counts in your social posts and jargon is simply clutter. It also can be alienating to audience members who don’t immediately get what you’re trying to convey. Avoiding jargon makes your brand sound more human and authentic, which promotes greater social media engagement.

5. Tailor for the platform. Social media is often referred to in general and broad terms, but it’s important to remember that each platform is still unique. When developing the voice you will use in your social media marketing, remember that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Each platform has its own style and conventions, and it’s important to follow them to fit in and succeed on each. The tone you might use on Instagram, for example, could feel very out of place on LinkedIn.

Happy Marketing!