Setting Your Brand Apart in the Social Media Sea

Social MediaYou’ve heard it all before: differentiating your brand from its competitors is vital to your success on social media. Find an audience, and speak their language. Build a brand personality, and your followers will become brand advocates. Of course, this is all much easier said than done. After all, building a brand personality takes a concerted effort, and when you’re new to social media anyway, that effort can miss the mark.

One thing is for sure: if you want to be visible in your industry, you must be visible on social media because that’s where consumers will find you. 92% of polled business owners agree that in 2014, social media is simply a must if you want your company to get found.

Simply being visible, however, is no longer enough. You have to offer consumers something your competitors don’t. Often times, it’s a brand personality that they connect to, a social media presence that resonates with them.

But how do you accomplish that feat, you ask? Keep reading for a few ways to build your brand’s personality on social media.

Have a Vision

If you don’t know who you want your brand to be on social media, your followers (and potential followers) aren’t likely to know, either. Sit down with some of your trusted advisors (those who know your company and brand best) and ask some or all of the following questions:

  • What do we want to be known for?
  • Who is our target audience?
  • Which social media networks is that target audience most likely to be using?
  • Which types of content is that target audience most likely to find interesting?

Get to know your brand before trying to establish a personality on social media. With a more defined strategy, hiring the right manager is far less of a headache.

Hire the Right Manager

First things first: if you want your brand’s social media presence to achieve the desired effects, you must leave the reigns in capable hands. If you don’t have time to manage your company’s social media accounts on your own, you’ll be depending on a manager to get the job done.

When social media was still a relatively new practice for businesses looking to reach a wider audience, a social media manager was usually someone who was active on and familiar with several social networks and knew how to post a variety of content. Nowadays, that kind of simplicity just doesn’t cut it. A social media manager needs to have a variety of skills and an array of knowledge to help your brand establish a personality and stand out from its competitors.

“To succeed in the field, you must be forward-thinking, demonstrate you can understand and interpret consumer data and marketing strategies and write effectively for your target audience,” says Jason Miller, social content manager for Jim Beam.

It appears that the ability to interpret data is among the most important skills to look for in your social media manager. Date interpretation, however, still doesn’t trump the most important skill: communication. A snappy, effective communicator managing your social media accounts is vital to building a brand personality that will last. Look for a manager who speaks well and has plenty of experiencing in writing and producing content.

Utilize Humor

Many companies undervalue and under-utilize humor in their social media personalities, choosing instead to showcase the “many benefits” of their product or service in every single post. When you forgo humor so you can stump for your product every time you get on Twitter or Facebook, your followers are going to feel alienated, possibly get annoyed, and will probably lose interest in your company altogether.

The key is to establish a personal connection, and humor plays beautifully in that capacity. After all, what is more human than finding something funny? Even babies have a sense of humor, and they can’t form actual words yet. Taco Bell, for example, can get pretty saucy (pun intended) with their Twitter humor, as evidenced below:

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Of course, there are discrepancies in the types and amounts of humor that will be successful for different companies. A deodorant company, like Old Spice, that has built their brand personality around irreverent, whimsical, and humorous ads can push the boundaries of humor in their social media presence far more fluidly than, say, a company that manufactures propellers for small engine planes.

Regardless of those discrepancies, however, the fact remains: humor is a plus on social media. It is, after all, the emotion second-most likely (behind awe) to inspire a share of content on social media.

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Infographic Credit: OkDork

Read More: How to Use Humor to Build Brand Personality

So there you have it: a few tips to get you started down the road towards brand personality on social media. Whether you’re a complete beginner or you’ve been Facebooking since 2005, the importance of building a solid brand among your followers is ever increasing. With a little research, a great manager, and a great sense of humor, you could have a gaggle of loyal brand advocates in no time.

photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc

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