I’ll be honest: I’m not the best at keeping up my personal social media brand. I have a Twitter, but I don’t really use it aside from following reporters I’m trying to pitch and keeping up on my celebrity gossip. I rarely post on Facebook. Occasionally I’ll connect with someone on LinkedIn, but nine times out of ten the only time I go there is to update my email settings for less frequent updates.
In so many words, my social media brand needs work. It’s an inoffensive and fairly accurate display of my interests, but there’s no consistency or narrative to make it compelling. Luckily, it’s not my job to worry about my personal brand. Instead, I spend my time building strong social media brands for my clients, and that I excel at and enjoy.
A strong social media presence across channels allows you to distribute content, engage with stakeholders and prospective customers, and build up thought leadership in your field. Most importantly, it allows you to communicate your story and develop a brand voice to engage directly with your target customers. Today, I’ve collected tips from a couple of my favorite brand social media accounts to illustrate how to communicate a strong story through social media.
Be your brand.
If you go to most brand Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, you’ll see a mix of sale promotions, apologies for bad service, and advertisements. While this approach may provide another way to get news out about a special you’re running, it does nothing to communicate your brand’s point of view, and it hardly motivates your target stakeholders line up to follow you. Instead of just spouting news, add value. Build your company’s voice. If your brand was a person, what would you look like? What would you sound like? Start to integrate that voice into your social media posts.
A great example of a brand owning their story is Taco Bell. They know they’re not the sexiest brand in the world, but they own the fact that Taco Bell is inherently goofy. Their Twitter is a delightful mishmash of retweeted Vines, Snapchat contests, musings on the new Sriracha quesarito from celebrities and regular fans alike, and taco emojis. Valentine’s Day tweets are full of references to their “bae-rritos” and tacos being their “true love.” It’s the kind of silly, harmless fun dialogue that you can imagine a Taco Bell connoisseur spouting.
Personal social media is all about sharing things that you like with others. Go to any of your friends’ Facebook pages and you’ll see reposts of Buzzfeed articles, Youtube videos, and news articles. But for brands, social media is best used to share your content, not repurpose that of others. Like we discussed above, it’s also important all of your content is consistent with your company voice.
The clothing company Bonobos does this incredibly well on their Facebook page. While they still post about sales and new products, they also engage their fans through creative content. Whether that’s a quiz to determine the best fit of chinos for you or an open letter to Katy Perry asking for permission to make and market clothing based off of her shark backup dancers, Bonobos shows their cheeky style through engaging, creative content.
Once you finesse your brand voice and content to find what works, stick to it. Remember in November when Pizza Hut tried to reinvent themselves as a slick, high-end pizza delivery service? The campaign flopped because it just didn’t make sense: it’s a simple fact of life Pizza Hut is for 10:30pm on a Tuesday and you’re halfway through the latest season of House of Cards–not when you want something that’s actually high quality.
In contrast, Dos Equis beer found its perfect voice a few years ago with “The Most Interesting Man in the World” — a suave older gentleman who goes on incredible adventures, succeeds in everything he does, and lets viewers know he “doesn’t always drink beer”–but when he does, he “drinks Dos Equis.”
The Dos Equis Twitter account and Facebook page are nothing but The Most Interesting Man in the World. I scrolled back literally years on their Facebook page, past declarations that “when the wind howls, he howls back” and “he exits a ski lift with verve and grace” before I found a post about something other than him. Dos Equis understood that they had a winner in their brand ambassador and has been successfully parlaying him and everything he stands for into brand success on social media for some time. For your brand, think about what your audience reacts to best–whether it’s a certain element of your thought leadership or an adorable mascot–and run with it.
So tell me, how do you tell your brand story via social media?
Photo Credit: LoboStudioHamburg