Take a look at the brands and businesses that have millions of followers. You’ll quickly start seeing a common thread: personality. Brands that people love to follow don’t sound boring or impersonal. They sound like an extension of the brand they represent—think Starbucks, Merriam-Webster (that’s right, the dictionary people), and the Twitter-famous Wendy’s. But even if your business goals don’t involve getting likes in the six-figures, creating a social media personality for your business can help you connect with your customers and drive more sales.
What is a Social Media Personality?
Your brand personality, sometimes called your brand voice, is the “character” of your brand. If your business was a person, what would they sound like? What would their personality be?
Your business might sound more like a direct, serious-minded expert, or they might be quirky, fun, and a little irreverent. You may not even be sure yet. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it.
Step #1: What do you already love?
Take a look at any writing or marketing materials you already have. What do you really like? Think across the board: website, social media, emails, brochures, etc. Try to identify anything that feels like a good representation of your business. Read them thoroughly. What is it you like about them?
For this step, it’s best to gather at least three samples of writing that you already love. You can even use examples from competitors if you can’t identify any of your own. If you just can’t find anything you like or are just starting a new business, that’s ok too! Just skip this step and keep going.
Step #2: Define Your Brand’s Personality
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. You’ll start by selecting three words that best describe the brand personality you aspire to, even if it doesn’t quite match up with what your brand sounds like right now. If you have time, talk to some of your customers or employees to get some insight. These three words should accurately describe what you want your business to sound like.
Here are a few examples to choose from:
Feel free to add your own words if these don’t quite fit. Take your time with this step, and feel free to ask a few people for their opinions.
Step #3: Refine your Personality for Social Media
Now that you have your three words that describe your brand personality, it’s time to figure out what that personality sounds like on social media. Keep in mind that what your brand sounds like on social media may be a little different that what it would sound like in, say, an email newsletter.
- How casual do you want your brand to sound?
- Very casual: It should sound like we’re just chatting with a friend.
- Somewhat casual: My brand should sound casual, but keep it businesslike.
- Somewhat formal: Keep the casual conversation to a minimum.
- Highly formal: My brand should sound very serious and formal.
Note: this level of formality is not recommended if you want good engagement
- On social media, how comfortable are you with using emoji?
- Not at all comfortable: they shouldn’t be used at all.
- Somewhat comfortable: they should be used every once in a while.
- Comfortable: they should be used often.
- Very comfortable: Use emoji in every post!
Last Step: Start Using Your Brand Personality
Now, write down your three descriptive words, how casual you want your brand to sound, and how often you want to use emoji. Place that information somewhere that’s easy to access. If you post a lot of your social media from a single computer, maybe keep this info on a notepad or sticky note nearby. If multiple people run your social media, put it in a shared document you can all reference easily.
Now, every time you’re posting on social media for your business, reference your list and ask yourself if what you’re writing sounds like it fits. Remember, often social media is the first place where your customers will learn about your business. Sticking to a brand personality can ensure you’re leaving the right impression!