3 Ways to Build a Brand Personality

It’s been said again and again: A successful business must differ itself from its competitors on social media. Determine who your audience is and speak to them accordingly. Be present on social media so your customers can find you.

BUT, a company needs much more than just a presence on social platforms. A successful company will have a brand personality that draws a customer in and keeps them engaged to retain them as a loyal fan of the brand.

Here are 3 ways to build a brand personality online:

1. Know who you are. 

You, above everyone else, needs to know what your brand represents. Take a day and discuss the following: What is our unique selling proposition? What specific demographic are we targeting? Where is our demographic on social media? What content would our demographic want to engage with?

By getting to know your brand BEFORE setting up a social presence, you’ll be on the right track to creating a personality that will resonate with your fan base on a deeper level. This foundation is key to any company hoping to infiltrate and stand out among the millions of other messaging on social media. Plus, it’ll give your fans a connection to your company that they’ll remember.

2. Have a strategy.

Once you’ve established who you are a brand, it’ll make strategizing that much easier. At this point, take time to document a solid digital marketing plan. Then, think about how you can incorporate a successful content marketing, social media and paid support strategy.

Remember that these documents are not final. They should always be evolving as your company, brand and product evolve. Having said this, each strategy should be thoroughly thought through and executed as accordingly to who you are as a brand.

3. Hire the right team.

Don’t wing social media, especially with a brand new personality. Trust us, it won’t end well. If this is not your strong suit, trust someone with experience to handle all digital marketing so that you can focus on other things.

Who can you hire? A social media director, a digital strategist or a community/brand manager will do the trick. There are so many names for people who do the same type of work that it’s dizzying. No matter who you go with, make sure that they’re comfortable on social networks, can create quality content to help your brand stand out and know how to read metrics to understand what’s working and what’s not.


No matter if you’re a newbie or highly experienced within the space, building a brand personality is key to running a successful company online. With knowledge of who you are as a brand, an overall digital strategy and the best team to help execute your ideas, you’ll be well on your way.

Tell us: Does your business have a brand personality? If so, what is it?

– Samantha

Instagram Ad Success

levis

It’s been about 6 weeks since Instagram introduced ads to its platform — and the results look good. As we’ve mentioned before, Instagram started slow, allowing only 10 retailers to start posting ads, which included Levi’s and Ben & Jerry’s. Although Facebook has only released the results from these 2 brands, both have seen significant gains. Levi’s was able to reach an audience 47 times bigger than its follower count, while Ben & Jerry’s was able to reach an audience 29 times larger. Pretty impressive numbers.

Both brands were concerned that the numbers may have been inflated due to the novelty of the new ads. Because of this concern, they decided to pay more attention to numbers regarding ad recall and brand message awareness. Resulting from these ads, consumers were 32% more likely to remember the product highlighted than someone who had not seen it. They also saw a 10% jump in message awareness for people who were exposed to the ads. These are solid metrics, but information on how much these companies paid for these ads has not been released, making it is impossible to truly calculate ROI.

Personally, we think Instagram ads are off to a great start. We’ve seen a few ads on our feed which have been visually pleasing and even enjoyable. Hopefully this is how the ads will continue to be, however we have our doubts. Instagram put such an emphasis on making sure these initial ads were high quality, once more advertisers enter the game, the quality is sure to suffer.

Tell us: How did you feel about the new Instagram ads?

-Mike & Samantha

5 Ways to Make Successful Social Content

Create Successful Social ContentLet us break it down for you: Here are 5 ways to make successful content on social media. Although we could come up with a handful more, we think these will help your company get on track — fast.

1. Create reasonable social goals. Goals are important for any marketing strategy to be able to measure success — and discover areas for improvement. Coming up with goals that are attainable is a totally different story, so make sure yours are possible to reach!

We suggest coming up with goals (regarding analytical data) for each piece of content created. Start with X number of Likes on Facebook, increase number of RTs on Twitter by X amount, have X number of people share your piece of content per day/week, increase engagement on social platforms by X amount over the next month, etc.

2. Get to know your audience. Fully knowing who you’re talking to is key to creating the best content to promote your brand. Start by completing research on your target audience and determining what they find interesting and sharable.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, enter the conversation that your fan base is already having. Track hashtags, search keywords and truly practice “social listening.” With this data, you can more appropriately create content that will inherently fall into place with what your audience is currently interested in. Therefore, your brand will be pushing creative that feels natural and approachable.

3. Make valuable content. After you determine what makes your audience passionate, come up with content that is useful and/or taps into people’s emotions. By providing content that adds to a fans life, such as helpful tip or funny joke, your fan will not only share it, but they will most likely come back for more. Don’t forget to switch it up! Try images, videos, true or false questions, fill in the blank, etc. to keep your audience engaged.

Manage a restaurant? Try sharing an easy, delicious recipe that your fans will want to try. Run a cleaning business? Try giving your fans a useful, unique tip for picking up around the house. Own a baby clothing company? Tap into the funny moments when raising a child to evoke emotions that most parents may feel.

4. Be consistent. You’ll hear us talking about consistency a lot. Why? Because creating consistent content better defines who you are as a brand within the social space and keeps your fans loyal and interested (versus disloyal and confused).

If you use Instagram to create your imagery, make sure that you stick with similar filters for each post or tweet. Do you speak to your fans with a specific tone of voice? Make sure that you define it completely and continue to use it across all platforms.

5. Keep your content easy to share. We all want our content to go “viral,” but the first step is making sure that content is easily sharable. Make sure social buttons are visible on your website, blog, etc. — especially above the page break on a website. If posting or tweeting, your copy should be short and concise so people are more inclined to share on their wall or with a friend.

Lastly, remember to brand your images. When your logo is on your creative, your brand will be shared when your content is shared. Note: keep your logo/branding small, so people are more inclined to share the piece of content and don’t feel as if they’re simply promoting your brand.

Got more tips? Share them with us below!

— Samantha

Where Sports Fans Engage on Social Media

Sports fans

Big sports fan? Ever talk about the game on FB or Twitter? You’re certainly not alone.

Catalyst’s annual fan engagement study studies sports fans to better determine where they play on social media — and where marketers can better reach them! In Catalyst’s recent study, the team surveyed 2,100 sports fans (16 and 64 years old) who follow the NFL, NBA, MLB, college football, college basketball and soccer.

A few top points are highlighted below, but check out the full infographic below

  • Surprisingly, only 57% of fans surveyed “liked” a brand/sport team page to show their support — versus 61% who “liked” a page for a coupon or discount.
  • Although more fans are on Facebook in general, Twitter is the most popular platform on a game day.
  • Post game, Instagram rises in popularity, when fans are most likely sharing images from the game or viewing party.

Catalyst Sport Infographic

 

— Samantha

Three Ways Brands Successfully Use Vine

When Instagram introduced their video feature, many thought Vine would soon be on its way out. While Instagram may have the advantage when it comes to number of users, we still see great opportunity with Vine, especially for brands. Vine offers a fantastic platform for brands to connect with their audience in a whole new way. Below, we have highlighted three such ways brands are successfully tapping into their Vine following.

1) Announcing New Products

New product promotion is always incredibly important to a brand. After all, whats the point of developing the latest and greatest if nobody knows about it? Here are two examples from Twitter and Puma of how to effectively promote a new product in six seconds:

2) Behind the Scenes

People love seeing behind the scenes footage. Whether it’s from the Super Bowl or the Grammys, audiences love exclusive material that the average consumer might not get. Here is a Vine from a Kate Spade fashion shoot and one from an XBOX event:

3) Straight Up Entertainment

One of the best ways to succeed in social media is simply create content people want to share. Regardless of topic, the more people linking your content, the bigger audience you reach. Here is a cool video from Urban Outfitters on glow-in-the-dark body paint and another one from Oreo, who may have just revolutionized your ice coffee:

-Mike & Samantha

DO’s & DON’Ts for Community Managers

Community managers have created a true strategy for word-of-mouth marketing, but there are certainly rules to this type of work. Those that follow them can successfully grow their brand. Those that don’t, can wind up in a boatload of customer service trouble — and much faster than you think thanks to socially savvy consumers.

Originally, community management was done by young interns, who did not have the full ability to run a brand online. A study completed by Social Fresh in 2013 stated that the average age of community managers has increased to those in their 30s. Additionally, the pay has increased to an average of $60k which competes with many mid-level jobs within the marketing industry. (See below for a infographic from Social Fresh for more details!)

Having said this, the last few years of experience have evolved community managers into a true voice behind a company. With every post and tweet, they represent the business and should embody its exact personality and tone. When one has this much power and those on the outskirts are watching, it’s imperative that a CM’s actions 100% reflect the brand’s messaging and beliefs to create a seamless extension of the business throughout the online space.

Community managers must be creative, flexible and willing to go above and beyond. Most importantly, CMs must be consistent. And because they’re “virtually visible,” they automatically gain more responsibility. Everyone (customers, competitors, etc.) online can see their responses 24/7.

Here are some general DOs & DON’Ts for community managers:

DOs:

  • Be an expert of your company (or product).
  • Monitor, consistently.
  • Encourage engagement by genuinely interacting with fans.
  • Respond in a timely manner.
  • Be a friendly, approachable personality!
  • Listen to your fans and build relationships.
  • Don’t be afraid to take some conversations offline to better help a fan.
  • Truly resolve issues with the greater team to build a loyal community.
  • Thank your fans and show appreciation!

DON’Ts:

  • Be rude, sarcastic or defensive.
  • Delete comments, posts, tweets, etc.
  • Ignore people who are asking for help or answers!
  • Be ambiguous with your responses to fans.
  • Respond too quickly to those who may detract from your brand.
  • Use your social presence to blatantly ‘push’ products or services.

Comment below to add any DO’s & DON’Ts that I may have missed!

— Samantha

Community Manager Report 2013

The Most Engaged Brands on Twitter

You have heard it before and you will hear it again, an engaged brand is a successful brand. Out of all the social media options out there, Twitter has become one of the go-to platforms for customer engagement. Twitter is a fantastic channel for brands to create a conversation with their fans. Of course, a large number of fans and an increased tweet frequency has a lot to do with the success of a brand, but as we can see from the infographic created by Nestivity below, it is not a direct correlation. Having 10 million followers sounds like an impressive number, and it is, but if that following isn’t engaged, it doesn’t really mean anything.

A few of the more interesting facts we gathered from this infographic are:

  • More followers did not correlate into a more engaged brand
  • A higher tweet frequency also did not correlate into a more engaged brand
  • Tweets sent between 2pm and 5pm generated the most engagement
  • 76% of shared tweets contained a photo

Remember, engagement is king. Take notes from the top brands on this list and try implementing similar tactics into your own Twitter campaign.

Nestivity_TOP25_Infographic_Final

 

-Mike & Samantha

Twitter Pulls Away From Rivals in Social Curating

twitter-superman-icon

We are all aware of the major social media platforms out there, from Facebook to Twitter, a successful brand must utilize them all. Each platform has its place in a successful marketing campaign, but new research shows that businesses are favoring one platform over the other, Twitter. According to social software startup, Livefyre, 93% of business are curating real-time, social activity from Twitter, while only 89% are using Facebook. Continuing down the social media ladder, 50% of business reported generating content from YouTube, and 41% are using Instagram. 

Why are these numbers so important? One of the biggest challenges for brands today is creating great content. A company can post content over all the social platforms 24/7, but if that content is not relevant to their target market, it is just a big waste of time and resources. Utilizing platforms, like Twitter, allows a brand to see what people are already saying about them organically. Once these trends are identified, a successful brand can leverage them to market themselves in a very authentic and poignant way.

Data from Livefyre’s research shows that:

  • 82% of businesses have increased user engagement from curating social activity.
  • 88% of the businesses leveraging real-time social applications, have increased user engagement.
  • 41% reported an increase in site traffic as a direct result of making their websites more social friendly.

We all know how critical it is for a business to monitor social media in order get a true feel for the public sentiment on their brand. What may not be so obvious, is how important social curating is to content creation. It is so important for a successful online presence to have relevant, engaging, and consistent content going out to its target market. What better way to create this content than leverage what is already out there, supplied by the customers themselves.

-Mike & Samantha