Listen, bro, writing conversationally, is like, really hard. I mean, I want to slay it, gurl, but sometimes it’s just easier to use stiff English so it’s clear that I’m a professional communicator with a graduate degree and a working knowledge of bigly words. So how do you define conversational content in your organization? A few tips coming right up – and this is NOT a voice and tone lesson.
How to define conversation in your organization
When we review content, we usually find it’s either too casual or too thesaurus-happy. Every organization’s goal for voice and tone is “conversational” — but to define conversation is subjective to some, and challenging to achieve.
So let’s define conversation and what it means to be “conversational”.
- To whom are you speaking? See what I did there? By using “whom” properly, I made it more formal. But the point stands – know who you are talking to, and more importantly, know your relationship with them. A conversation with a stranger is different from a conversation with a good friend. Make sure you map the customer journey when you’re building content so you understand when to be formal and when to be casual. (This doesn’t have to be a 6-month exercise – spend 10 minutes on a napkin during your coffee break.)
- Begin with the end in mind. What do you want people to do after they read or engage with your content? That will help you set your conversational style. This isn’t just true for words – it’s true for visuals as well. Pictures build a story and communicate your brand. Take a look at the food or lifestyle Instagrammers – their feeds always look immaculate. They want to communicate a certain style to their followers – they are being conversational before they even start writing the captions.
- Listen to your colleagues: How do you talk around the office? How do you talk to each other? Your bosses? Your clients? Your vendors? Actively listen to the communication around you, and you will develop the brand’s rhythm instinctively. You’ll get to the bullseye of conversational.
So to answer the question: To define conversational writing for your organization, you’ll need to do your homework: listening, planning, analyzing. It’s hard work, but the rewards, are like, soooo worth it.
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