Our social media research showed that people wanted our social media content to be more accessible. We received comments about developing a more consistent approach to our content; some comments suggesting it should be more formal but there were many contrasting comments asking for more of the fun stuff.
We looked to our strategy, Better Statistics, Better Decisions to identify the appropriate personality and tone of voice for social media.
The strategy says:
We will find innovative ways of making data, statistics and analysis more accessible, engaging and easier to understand, to support accurate and meaningful interpretation.
Ensuring statistics are well explained so that they can be properly interpreted by those who use them is essential.
We will ensure and demonstrate that official statistics are of high quality, produced to consistently high professional standards in accordance with international best practice, meet the needs of those who wish to use them and are worthy of their trust.
We will champion the public interest, making sure that key data used for decision-making are available to all, subject to the protection of confidential personal data.
With this in mind, we developed a style guide for social media which champions plain English and shares the different types of content we’ll post to engage with our followers.
In the style guide, we’ve included accessibility guideline for images in addition to a guide to writing for social media. Social media is less inclusive than other websites that can offer alt tags for images, so we set some standards to ensure we use the most accessible colours possible in our images and charts. As part of the accessibility changes to our content, we are committed to continuously improve our use of plain English and make even technical content easy for all users to understand.
In the style guide, we’ve included a few points to develop more of our personality on social media. Social media is less formal than traditional communication methods so the personality and tone of voice is to be trustworthy; professional but friendly; and open to conversation. With all content, we invite two-way communications and hope to encourage more engagement.