Posts Tagged "social media"


3 Ways Voice and Tone Influence Brand Perception

It's all in your voice and tone

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

We’ve all heard this adage before. While it may serve a purpose in personal communication, it’s just not true for brands. As a brand what you say is just as important as how you say it. And since most brand communication is written, you’ve got to account for a lack of vocal and facial nuance with what you’re saying, too.

Every brand has a style guide, and just as important as having branded logos and colors is having a brand voice and tone document. This document will help you figure out how to express the brand’s values and thinking in written communication on websites, emails, social posts, and more. Voice and tone are two distinct aspects of verbal and written expression that impact how a brand’s audience perceives them.

A brand’s “voice” is much like a person’s “voice.” It’s how they speak, the words they use and the order of phrases that communicate a feeling or message.

A brand’s tone, just like a person’s, changes subtly depending on the topic. A brand may use more slang or be more energetic on social media, but more straightforward on an email or a landing page.

Let’s look at an example of how the voice stays consistent while the tone shifts with circumstance:

How a brand interacts with their audience on social media on 4th of July is going to look a lot different from how they do on Memorial Day. Why? Because 4th of July is a day of patriotic celebration, and Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died while serving our country. You wouldn’t want to share a post for Memorial Day with the cheerful exuberance you would expect in a 4th of July post. If you did that, you risk alienating the members of your audience who have ties to the military.

Clearly the tone is just as important as the voice in these kind of posts, and both are equally likely to influence the way an audience views a brand. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking of how to use your brand’s voice and tone to positively influence your audience:

1. Pinpoint what you want to talk about as a brand.

Understanding what topics you want to talk about as a brand is a great first step. These topics should relate back to the brand’s values. You can incorporate the brand values into your writing on these topics. This is a great way to reinforce who your brand is and what the brand stands for.

2. Understand the words that evoke your brand values to your audience.

You know who your brand is, but are you showing your audience who you are as a brand? To find out what your audience thinks of you, you can use social listening to analyze what words or phrases your audience uses to describe you. Using emotionally evocative language is a simple way to impact how your audience sees you. If your audience sees you as glib when you’re going for lighthearted, take a moment to look at the language you’re using as a brand and find ways to keep it playful but sincere.

3. Treat your audience like a part of your team.

You want your audience to become fans and advocates of your brand. You don’t want your audience to feel like they’re being condescended. Share tips, but don’t write in a way that makes your brand sound superior. This can be the simple difference between saying “You may know _____ but did you know _____?” versus “here is every little thing about ______.”  Encourage your audience to create and share their own content with your social media accounts by writing posts that have a personal touch. If your audience feels like you’re creating a community, they are more likely to feel connected to your brand and be involved with your social accounts.

Ultimately as a brand what you say and how you say it impacts how your audience sees you and relates to you. By creating a clear voice and tone guide for your brand you can understand how your audience sees you. As well, you can have a positive influence on their future interactions with your brand on your website, via email and social networks.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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Tis the season of #PSL

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Tis the season of #PSL


Tis the season of #PSL.

For most people that means the season of orange packaging and pumpkin spice flavors infiltrating everything from coffee creamer to dog treats. But at IQ we take a different approach to that three letter acronym:

Perceive. Share. Learn.

These three principles are at the core of how we grow our knowledge and understanding of any topic, both personally and professionally. When an IQ-er finds an insightful or interesting article online we share it with colleagues via Slack post or an email, and odds are you do the same. This is a simple and effective way to encourage collaborative learning and growth between coworkers.

So put down your pumpkin spice latte and see what the real #PSL is all about.


Perception is at the center of almost everything we do in advertising and marketing Even before we begin a project, we think about different content that we find interesting and pinpoint why. Then, we consider how different audiences react to content as well as how our clients do. We conduct research to find out more about our clients’ audiences as well as those of their competitors. Even during the creative process, we go through rounds of feedback to see what different roles at our agency think about the work. This is all perception, and it’s one of the most important things we do.


It takes three clicks or less to go from reading an article to sharing it with your network on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. We all share an enormous amount of content with people every day via social and messaging apps.

When you share something of interest, like updates to a popular social media platform, you’re not only giving others the opportunity to view it, you’re also opening a platform for discussion. This often leads to a wider perspective and understanding of the topic at hand. In the workplace, this also shows your colleagues what topics you are passionate about, and can position you as the go-to expert on content strategy, social listening or another subject.


You learn something new every day. It’s not always a radical epiphany, but striving to gain more knowledge and understanding of the topics you work with on a daily basis is important. Not only will you be better informed and ahead of the curve on trends, you will also be considered a thought leader in your office – if not on a larger scale. Learning is best when it’s collaborative, so take time to create a dialogue with coworkers on relevant professional topics that makes everyone more knowledgeable.

These three principles feed into each other and create a cycle that propels you forward in professional development, both personally and as a team. At IQ, we #PSL every day. How do you?

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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IQ Spotlight: T.R. Wilhoit, Brand Strategist


IQ Spotlight: T.R. Wilhoit, Brand Strategist

IQ Spotlight TR Wilhoit, Brand Strategist

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so once a month we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

My name is T.R. Wilhoit and I’m a Brand Strategist at IQ.

What are a few sites you visit at least once a week?

I check Pulse, which is a news aggregator, CNN, and Twitter pretty regularly. They’re useful and pragmatic.

What does “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

I think it’s the center point where creative executions meet with strategy. I think it’s more conceptual than strategy that informs creative, but the magic meeting between the two.

Tell me about the moment you knew this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally.

I didn’t really have that moment. It’s been more like a journey of the next logical step. I didn’t study advertising in school, but I interned at IQ and I liked it. I was kind of the black sheep of my major, Sport Marketing. Most people wanted to work in professional sports, I was more “ I like marketing and social media.” And they were like “what’s social media?” So I did more digital work in internships, which lead me here.

What gets you “in the zone” for work?

It depends on what kind of work I’m doing. If it’s more collaborative conceptual thinking or strategy messaging, then laughing helps. If you’re having a good time with the people you’re brainstorming with then that helps get ideas going. If I’m doing something more on my own I like to put on my headphones and put on whatever playlist I have handy.


Beach or Pool?


Stripes or Polka Dots?


Checkers or Chess?


Cats or Dogs?


Tea or Coffee?


Now you know a little more about T.R. Wilhoit!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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Twitter: Now With Ocean-Breeze Long Form!

Twitter's Long Form Announcement

According to Recode Twitter is releasing a new product that will allow users and brands to publish content that exceed the current 140 character limit of the native Twitter timeline.

Most of the Internet including yours truly originally took this news to mean the Twitter timeline we love would become a bloated mess. And from a user perspective we expected this feature would drive us away. The current Twitter timeline isn’t built or designed for long form. It would take forever to scroll through someone’s late-night alcohol-fueled post-breakup novella. Let alone a verbose poorly written brand statement about their most recent social media gaff.

But this is not the case according to that article. This will be a new product possibly akin to the recently released Moments. We are betting this new feature, like Moments, will be accessible via Twitter’s mobile apps and desktop.

But long form on Twitter is exciting to think about from a marketing point of view. When your strategic research is founded in proven best practices, long form Twitter could be a marketer’s and brand’s dream come true. We will have a new and exciting way to reach users, fans, and followers that is less limiting; allowing us to craft more engaging stories and inspire deeper consumer actions.

You might be asking, “But why is Twitter doing this?”

The 1985 Global System for Mobile Communication set the character limits on text messages at 160 characters. When Twitter launched in 2006, they set the limit at 140 leaving 20 characters for the username. This allowed the tweet to be delivered in one complete text message rather than multiple messages.

But the mobile technology we use every day has evolved far past those early days and Twitter needs to grow to help people (and advertisers) tell their story and share more information. For example, Twitter made a play on native texting earlier this year when they removed the character limitations in Direct Messages.

At the end of the day Twitter is a publically traded company with shareholders to please. Twitter has a highly vested interest in making its platforms and products are more engaging to stimulate its lagging growth and increase use to turn a profit for their investors.

So here is the 140 million dollar question. Will long form Twitter increase engagement and the user base? Probably. At least when the feature is first launched. But we have to also remember that other social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have had the long form corner of the social web locked up for a long time.

Need help with your social strategy? Let us know how IQ can help you!

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5 Things We Learned As An Agency at Camp Mac

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5 Things We Learned as an Agency at Camp Mac

In order to get to know one of our newest clients better, many IQ-ers took a trip to Camp Mac to relive the summer camp days of our youths.  We toured the beautiful campgrounds, learned about the camp’s history and even met two of the founders.  But it wasn’t all work – of course we took some time to live like real campers.  We spent an afternoon riding horses, rock wall climbing, zip lining, and taking numerous trips down a giant water slide. In addition to building our relationship and knowledge with our clients, we also learned several valuable lessons that apply to our daily lives at the agency.

1. Keep your eye on the prize:

Whether it’s a day spent scaling a 40-foot rock wall or working on a new project for one of our clients, our agency knows how important it is to stay focused.  We constantly strive hard to meet our goals, and we know that means practicing plenty of concentration, diligence and determination.

Camp Mac rock wall

2. If it were easy it wouldn’t be as rewarding (or as fun!):

There’s nothing more satisfying than accomplishing something you weren’t sure you could do.  We love a good challenge and pushing ourselves to the limits, and sometimes even outside of our comfort zones.  It will almost always yield a positive result.  And hey, we can even have a little fun along the way.

Camp Mac zip line

3. Leadership is at the core of a successful advertising agency:

Spending the day at Camp Mac allowed each of us to fine-tune our leadership skills, while also discovering the value in being a team player.  We learned that leadership is not defined by a specific role or title, but an action that each of us can take every single day.

Camp Mac horseback riding

4. If you fall off the horse get right back up (figuratively AND literally):

Our agency knows that we won’t always get it perfect on the first try.  Luckily we’re a group of people who don’t give up easily! We’ll always work hard to make our better our best.  We’ve also learned that the journey itself can sometimes be just as rewarding as the end result.

Camp Mac horse

5. We’ll only sink if we stop swimming:

At camp we were reminded to always push ourselves, take risks and try new things.  We’ll be there to support each other, and our clients, every step of the way.  If we continue to grow, both as people and as an agency, it will always be time well spent.

Camp Mac swimming

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IQ Spotlight: Shaun Hines, Art Director

IQ Spotlight - Shaun Hines

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

My name is Shaun Hines and I’m an Art Director at IQ.

What was your first impression of IQ?

My first impression was that it was a smaller agency that felt very comfortable with approachable, down to earth people.

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant so far in your career?

Working on the Coca-Cola Freestyle website during my first job in the digital agency world. The project, along with the designers I worked with, really changed my design sensibilities and also allowed me to gain some amazing friends/colleagues in the process.

Tell me about the moment you knew this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally.

This is actually a two-fold answer. I knew this was an area I loved when I was thirteen and I created my own fan page for my favorite shows long before blogging became popular. I taught myself Paint Shop Pro (before Photoshop) and HTML — and I just loved it. I wasn’t until my second year of college that I realized that this could be an actual career field for me and not just a hobby. So, I knew then that that was what I wanted to do.

What does “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

To me, “Creative Intelligence” means having the skill and the taste for creativity, yet having the intelligence to decipher what the client wants and delivering work that everyone is satisfied with.

What is something you’ve learned in the last week?

I recently learned the truth about weather report percentages. When they say there’s a 40% chance of rain that means that 40% of the city will see the rain, not that there’s only a chance it might actually rain. MIND. BLOWN.


Ice cream or frozen yogurt?

Ice cream.

Queso or guacamole?


Instagram or Snapchat?


Manga or comic books?

Manga. No debating.

Paper & ink or tablet & computer?

Tablet & computer.

Now you know a little more about Shaun Hines!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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The Next Big Fight Won’t Involve Boxers


The Next Big Fight Won’t Involve Boxers

Content Providers Fighting

Many people are saying the “fight of the century” between Mayweather and Pacquiao didn’t live up to the hype. But a new fight emerged in the aftermath, live video streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat versus content providers. And this fight should be highly entertaining.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people watched this past weekend’s boxing match for free using these services. Sure the video quality was not HD and the audio was from whatever party was streaming it but the alternate broadcast was good enough for a lot of people. A lot of people who didn’t pay $100 a piece.

Let’s say that just three hundred thousand people worldwide watched via Periscope/Meercat. If those people had instead paid to see the fight that would have generated thirty million in revenue.  That’s ten percent of the overall fight’s purse. In a day when HBO and Showtime are still sending bounty hunters to bars to find illegal fight broadcasts, they aren’t going to leave thirty million just lying around. Even if the fight brought in revenues of at least four-hundred million.

But what happens when Periscope opens up an API? This situation is going to explode. Imagine a high quality GoPro camera live streaming a Taylor Swift concert via Periscope from the front row. Access and then monetization. A scalper gets their hands on a premium ticket and now it’s not about reselling it to the highest bidder, it’s about making money from live streaming from that ultra-exclusive location.

Twitter has a lot of friends in entertainment; friends that spend a lot of money within Twitter. And Hollywood uses/needs Twitter to make a lot of money for their TV shows, records, movies, and events. It’s going to be fun to watch both sides maneuver but the winners will be the artists and entertainers who figure out how to adapt and use the new technology to their advantage and elevate the user experience.

If you have questions about how to enhance your content using emerging technologies contact IQ.

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At IQ #weloveATL

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At IQ #weloveATL

IQ #weloveatl

Atlanta is moving on up! We’ve got television shows like The Walking Dead, movies like The Hunger Games and musical legends like Outkast. Aside from this, we’re also home to countless neighborhoods of unique cuisine and street art that paints the city. It’s no secret that Atlanta is becoming a major cultural hub, and not just in the south but across the nation.

So with all this thriving culture, it’s no wonder our city inspires us to make great work with a talented group driven by creative intelligence. That’s why this month, we’re focusing on the city IQ is proud to call home.

We’ll be sharing some of the things we love about Atlanta with the #weloveATL tag on the blog and in our social media channels, and we encourage you to share yours too.

Here’s to you, Atlanta. Let’s keep it awesome.

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How Facebook’s New Algorithm Impacts Brands

Brand impacts of new fb algorithm

On Tuesday, Facebook announced changes to their News Feed algorithm. We’ll overview how these changes affect marketers and brands and what they can do to be successful, but first: the changes from Facebook.

“Previously, we had rules in place to prevent you from seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row. With this update, we are relaxing this rule.”

“The second update tries to ensure that content posted directly by the friends you care about…will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it.”

“Lastly, many people have told us they don’t enjoy seeing stories about their friends liking or commenting on a post. This update will make these stories appear lower down in News Feed or not at all…”

How will these changes affect brand page reach?

More posts from friends and more posts from the same source mean less room for brands. Additionally, brand pages will see less activity generated from users engaging with brands because that content will be served up less often to users.

Facebook tries to keep brands from freaking out by saying:

“If you like to read news or interact with posts from pages you care about, you will still see that content in News Feed.”

But we know what this really means.

The window of opportunity for brand content to be served in the News Feed just got more competitive and more expensive.

“The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline.”

If that sounds vague, it’s because it is.

Will your reach go up, down, or sideways? For the reasons we outlined above, you can go ahead and bet the farm on declined brand reach.

So, what should we do? Two things:

1) Only publish truly engaging content. 

Does it create an emotional response? Meaning, is the post relevant, funny, clever, beautiful, interesting, or create desire or action? Facebook even reminds us in their announcement to post “things that people find meaningful.” Commercialized content has no place in the News Feed.

2) Increase your Facebook budget.

Facebook’s CPM in Q2 of 2014 was $1.08. By the end of 2014 it was a staggering $4.40 and will only rise. Impressions will continue to decline with these algorithm changes and with more brands entering the space.

Facebook was never intended to be a free advertising channel. The glory days of free and bountiful organic reach are long gone. If you want your brand content to be seen you have to pay to play; just like display. Don’t get discouraged by Facebook’s changes. Instead embrace the idea of delivering meaningful content to a highly targeted audience supported with a smart budget. The results will be better than ever!

Let us know how IQ can help you deliver better content to highly targeted social audiences.


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Simplify your life with #IQtoolbox web tools

Kicking off #IQtoolbox

This month at IQ we’re thinking about some of our favorite ways to use the internet to make our lives simpler, in and out of the office. Whether it’s a tool that gives you cool ambient sound to keep you focused on the task at hand or a better way to organize your office or home to-do lists, online tools can do so much for you. So this month we’re sharing tools IQ-ers use everyday, tools that make up the #IQtoolbox.

We will be sharing original articles here and in our other social media channels (TwitterFacebookTumblr, and LinkedIn). We’ll also be sharing other articles and links that inspire us and engage our minds in a playful way.

So keep an eye out for the #IQtoolbox hashtag as we share our favorite tools. And maybe you can share your favorites with us, too!

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