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

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Social Media Profile Photo Sizes

Customizing social profiles is important for any brand! Profile photos represent your company within the social space and should be clean, bold and consistent across all platforms.

Read on to find out more information on specific profile photo sizing, so you can make the most of your social profiles and learn the tips to best optimize your content!

Facebook

Facebook Profile Photo Size

Profile photos on this popular social platform are square (minimum of 180 x 180 pixels), so it’d be in your best interest to use an image with these dimensions or upload an image that is large enough that when cropped, will include the most important information, logo, etc.

When it comes to cover photos, choose wisely. This is a larger image than the profile photo, so it will be the first thing that a user sees when they visit your page. Although the minimum measurement is 399 x 150 pixels, your cover photos should be 851 x 315 pixels. Note that smaller images will stretch and as a result, will look pixilated and low-resolution.

To make sure that important information in your cover photo isn’t covered by your profile photo, note that your profile image is 23 pixels from the left side and 210 pixels from the top of your cover photo. Try uploading a JPG file that less than 100KB for best results. If your picture includes a logo and/or text, use a PNG file.

Twitter:

Twitter Profile Photo Size

Similar to Facebook, profile photos on Twitter are square — but much smaller, which means that you will need to choose a clearer, bolder picture. Although the main profile photo displays as 73 x 73 pixels on your profile on Twitter.com (and a tiny 48 x 48 pixels in a tweet), you can upload an image as large as 2MB (but will need to crop accordingly).

The header image should be 1252 x 626 pixels, up to 5MB. This photo will show up behind your profile photo, but don’t forget that your Twitter handle, bio information and URL will show over the image. As a result, we suggest choosing an image that won’t take away from the text in the forefront!

YouTube:

YouTube Channel Art Specs

FYI: The YouTube channel icon or profile photo is directly linked to your Google+ profile photo. Having said this, if you don’t have a Google+ account, you can still fully optimize your channel with custom images and various downloadable templates.

The “channel art” or cover photo will automatically scale to fit the size of the screen that it is being displayed on. Try an image with dimensions of 2560 x 1440 pixels for the best results. Note that the smallest size for “channel art” is 1546 x 423 pixels. As a result, make sure that nothing important (logos, etc.) are in this area so they won’t be cropped unintentionally.

Have more questions? Just ask! 

— 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

Facebook Releases New User Data

facebook-rolling-in-cash

We had recently done a piece on how Facebook is getting ready to sell video advertisements on their platform. In order to create some hype among advertisers, Facebook released some recent user data for the U.S. and UK. Get ready for this:

More than 128 million people in the U.S. visit Facebook at least once a day. That’s a third of the population! Also, in the UK, about 24 million people visit the social media website everyday.

Of course these numbers are pretty staggering on their own, but another important thing to take away from this announcement, is that this is one of the first times Facebook has released regional data. This is significant to TV advertisers, who rely heavily on those breakdowns. Facebook is trying to show all the advertisers out there just how many people they can reach on a daily basis.

At $66.3 billion estimated to go towards TV ads this year, or 39% of all advertising spent in the U.S., there is some serious money to be made by Facebook. Although these daily user number are no doubt impressive, advertising analysts would like to see more granularity before they can really put a value on Facebook’s reach. For the first time ever, researchers say the average time spent on digital media will surpass TV viewing this year.

We can all see where  TV advertising is going and it is no surprise that Facebook is on the forefront. Sure there will be some backlash from user over having video ads in their newsfeed, but after seeing the potential revenues for Facebook in this new field, we expect to see them take TV advertising head-on.

-Mike & Samantha

Engagement Valued More Than Sales

For those who choose to venture into the social unknown, there are certain goals and expectations that must be established before seeing success. Although a true return on investment (ROI) has never been easy to measure, many other obtainable outcomes can be considered to help push a brand into the mainstream, including engagement.

According to a 2013 survey of US marketing professionals done by Pivot Conference, the top goals of social media marketing (SMM) for brands included brand lift and consumer engagement. These numbers are up in comparison to last year, when positive sentiment ranked higher on the list. Having said that, many marketing professionals are beginning to understand that it’s less about the positive reaction from fans and more about keeping consistent engagement numbers high with Likes, RTs and Sharing. The more a consumer interacts with a brand (whether positively, negatively or neutral), the more likely the brand will stay top of mind for them.

Pivot Conference

From the survey, the most interesting decrease lies with how marketers currently view the importance of sales. Although in past years this goal ranked highest, brands now understand that a direct relationship between SMM and sales is hard to quantify. As a result, companies must find different ways to reach their fan base that will guarantee such an activity will eventually lead them down the purchase funnel. Although round-about, many social media platforms demand engagement before sales.

Those brands that still place too high of an importance on sales may demonstrate that they don’t fully understand how to amplify themselves successfully within the digital space and the online social media space in general.  No matter how you go about it, engagement and brand awareness are vital to keeping a brand’s messaging above the clutter of mainstream marketing — way before one can even begin shopping!

Pivot Conference

Overall, it’s apparent that the social media industry is constantly evolving. Such an evolution has forced marketers to reevaluate their current strategies, especially to include more importance on brand awareness and lift. Although many of these newer social media marketing ideas go against the grain of traditional marketing, we’re interested to see when SMM will be fully accepted and what impact it will have in future business and sales.

What are the top goals of social media for your business?

— Samantha & Mike

Social Media: A Strategy, Not a Tactic

Imagine this.

You’re running a business and decide to put some of your budget toward social media marketing. You’ve finally hired someone to setup your social accounts (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and manage possible engagement. All of this effort and you still don’t know if you have a full grip on the effectiveness of social media marketing!

Don’t worry. By setting goals for your company within the social space, you will prevent feelings of frustration and instead, reach objectives and create brand awareness that will eventually lead to sales. But how?

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-steps-for-a-successful-social-media-strategy/

  1. Start from the bottom. Set up obtainable social media goals and reflect the main business goals within them.
  2. Do your research. Ask the following questions before moving forward:
    • Who is your demographic & where do they congregate?
    • What are your current resources/budget?
    • How much time can you give to this task?
    • What are your competitors doing within the space?
    • What are your strengths?
    • What are the potential issues/problems with this execution?
  3. Be honest & realistic with your digital/social media goals.
    • Increase overall brand awareness
    • Increase website traffic and sales
    • Increase SEO for your company
    • Provide information for your fans
    • Decrease various marketing spending
  4. Be patient. Social media is an ongoing effort with ROI being difficult to measure and most engagement results being hard to pinpoint. A lot of time, effort and money often go into the most successful social media campaigns in the market. Although it will sometimes feel like a crawl, your social push will eventually yield results over time!
  5. Always keep learning. Although you may have already created a Twitter or Facebook account, there are other “big picture” social strategies that could greatly effect your total success. Be willing to learn the details to keep evolving with the current platforms at hand – or hire someone who is knowledgable and can do it for you!
  6. Understand that social media is not the answer. Putting your brand on various social media platforms does not replace all of your marketing efforts. Instead, social media should be seen as a large piece of the larger picture.

Overall, social media should be seen as a strategy, not a tactic. No matter what industry you work in, such strategies will differ — although most companies will need one relating to social to stay relevant. Having said this, it remains true that social media requires a full effort from all parties involved in order to successfully integrate your company goals. So go ahead — take a deep breath, dive in head first & have fun!

xx Samantha