Hone Your Social Media Post Tone

by Autumn McGarr

Every social media platform has a tone, which sets the expected code of conduct for businesses and their representatives. An effective way to demonstrate the difference is to relate the audience to a necessity – after all, who doesn’t like food or need a quick coffee from time to time? Using that analogy:

  • LinkedIn is like the office cafeteria, businesslike and closed on weekends.
  • Twitter is like a Starbucks drive through, quick and to the point with its own language.
  • Instagram is fine French dining with beautifully plated food.
  • Facebook is the local pub – people show up in blue jeans; don’t arrive in a three-piece suit, save that for LinkedIn.
  • Pinterest is like the fast food court at the mall: so many choices.

Facebook is more liberal and casual than LinkedIn. Twitter is short and sweet; Instagram demands visual content. Social media post tone should change based upon the platform you are using, and what posts will work for that particular audience.

Social media post types should also vary depending on the platform you are using. There are some great best practices we can recommend to assist in targeting your social media tone of voice. Changing your tone and format will garner the best response from your audience and increases the amount of engagement your target audience will have with your posts.

Tone Guidelines

Following are some social media tone of voice guidelines:


Posts should have a strong headline that is short and conveys what your post contains. Keep your posts fun, visual and highly shareable to maximize your reach. Pictures are key. Storytelling – although brief – is easiest to achieve on Facebook. Facebook audience demographics, while broad, tend to lean toward a more mature audience.   


Frequent posting is best on Twitter – but vary your tweets to keep people engaged. Short and sweet is the way to go on Twitter. Put links at the top or end of the post. According to Twitter, the best social media post times to optimize retweeting (sharing) is noon to 4 PM. Include photos when you can.

Twitter followers love to get the latest scoop on new products and sales. It is not uncommon for Twitter to be the first to divulge breaking news, posted by amateurs, much to the dismay of the news media. Therefore, it is a great place to post limited time offers, sales and new product launches.


Every brand should have a LinkedIn profile. This is the professional face of your company, and what you post here is taken seriously. Posts should be highly professional and always very well written. Publish your wins, exciting news, sustainability reports and information relevant to your business.

LinkedIn is the #1 social media platform to post job openings. You can post longer content here, too. The audience tends to be higher wage earners, earning over $70,000 per year. If you’re looking for successful social media post ideas for business, browse relevant brands on LinkedIn.


Instagram posts must contain a photo, and to compete in this platform, you have to have good photography. No exceptions. Lifestyle photography is best in this platform.

Pay attention to how your posts complement one another from a design aesthetic standpoint. Use hashtags. Instagram followers demand a crisp, clean and cohesive brand identity.


If your brand is very visual, Pinterest is the right place to be. It’s ideal if you have a home design, fashion, food, fitness or DIY brand. Be clever about your board topics and you can re-pin photos to multiple boards. Lifestyle images are best – and the photography should be top notch.

Tips for all platforms

  • Create a social media post template that contains a variety of post examples for each of your platforms, so your employees have models to follow.
  • Educate your employees on social media etiquette so they do not inadvertently dilute the effectiveness of your posting.
  • Keep your posts interesting. Look at your history and notice any patterns that reveal success. For example, pictures with animals are usually successful.
  • If people comment, share and retweet your posts; you should do the same with theirs.
  • Be responsive – always respond as quickly as possible – 24 hours or less.  The faster the better.
  • Create a social media post schedule so regular posting doesn’t fall through the cracks.
  • If you are doing social media in house, share the responsibility so posts are fresh and relevant to the current activities of your business. One person can suffer from burnout if posting on all platforms all the time.
  • Keep the person posting up to date on relevant news regarding your business. The discussions may uncover gems of potential posts not originally obvious.
  • #usehashtags – #cleverisbetter #BeKnown #BeSocial #BeEverywhere

By varying your social media post tone, you can communicate a similar message on each platform that will attract and retain followers. Have fun with content marketing on social media and be sure your social media post tone matches the platform you are using. ▪

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