Social Media

Why having a brand ‘personality’ is effective on social media

Having a brand personality can make or break your business. Studies show that more than 57% of consumers purchase from brands with strong personalities. At the same time, 55% of them simply unfollow a brand because of the way they spoke online.

Cultivating a unique and engaging brand personality affects the purchasing power of the customer. It also shows that there’s a subconscious emotional pull on the customer’s end with how they perceive and interact with a brand. Some consumers prefer a more professional personality, while others love to engage with friendly and approachable brands. 

In any case, this proves that brand personalities greatly influence customer purchase and connections. And building a brand personality is a great way to grow your online presence and reach wider audiences. 

What is a brand personality?

According to Investopedia, “Brand personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name. A brand personality is something to which the consumer can relate; an effective brand increases its brand equity by having a consistent set of traits that a specific consumer segment enjoys.”

A brand personality creates an emotional association that positively resonates with your target customer. Brand imagery, on the other hand, uses creative materials and content to communicate the concrete benefits of your business.

To be successful, a brand should develop a personality that is similar to their ideal customer. Humans have always been drawn to certain types of people depending on their personality. The same goes for customers and brands they like.

Branding has been an art form since the 1500s, when owners branded their cattle to show ownership. Moving forward to the digital age, branding has evolved greatly, as seen by how businesses now consciously develop a clear and strong brand personality in order to captivate their audience. 

Companies that have great brand personalities on social media

Here are three examples of successful businesses that have mastered the art of making connections online through their strong brand personalities.

1. Merriam-Webster

Merriam-Webster has created a witty, punny, and interesting brand personality on Twitter. Because the company is known for dictionaries and reference books, it’s able to balance being both informative with its observations about language and playful with its word play. 

The brand also creates amazing social media content consistently, from interesting “Word of the Day” tweets to crosslinked posts about word usage. This ensures that like-minded people (i.e. word and language lovers) keep coming back for Merriam-Webster’s content.

2. Starbucks

There’s a reason that Starbucks has millions of followers across different social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The brand makes sure that their content marketing strategy is integrated with humour, compelling storytelling, amazing and sometimes quirky graphics, and creative campaigns that often encourage consumers to join in. 

Because it’s a popular global company, Starbucks has a bigger reach and range in terms of their audience. It’s cultivated a friendly and approachable brand personality that can appeal to all their target demographics. From coffee drinkers who like it black and for those who prefer unique seasonal drinks like pumpkin spice latte. 

3. PlayStation

Interestingly enough, the rise of video game consoles has inspired studies about the various brand personalities of corporate giants within the industry. And Sony’s PlayStation reported traits are: “Up-to-date, intelligent, confident, (a) leader, and upper-class.” This follows because gamers who use PlayStation tend to be the oldest (compared to Wii and Xbox users) and, presumably, upper-class.

And because PlayStation caters to millennial gamers as compared to Gen Z users, the brand consistently engages with its followers by posting a mix of interesting content such as game trailers, gaming footage, and streaming events.

Even with their varying brand personalities, all of these companies have successfully identified their different markets depending on what social media platform they’re using. Brands that use Twitter and TikTok are aware they’re engaging with predominantly younger viewers as compared to users of LinkedIn or Facebook users, which might need a different approach.

How does having a brand personality help?

Customers are tired of dealing with faceless corporations. They prefer humanised and personalised brands, because it sparks a genuine connection with them. This is one of the main reasons they look at the brand personality even before they start engaging with your content (and later on, your offerings). 

Now that everyone is online and everything is much more accessible, people prefer to have a two-way conversation with their favourite brands. Having a brand personality opens doors for this type of authentic engagement.

Giving human characteristics to your brand can make your business easier to relate to and remember, which keeps your business front of mind with your customers.

3 ways to strengthen your brand personality

Here are three tips to improve your brand personality so that your business builds a stronger online presence and connects with a more engaged audience.

1. Adapt to different social media platforms and audiences

Every social media platform has a specific audience and adjusting your brand personality on the mediums you use is a smart move. And depending on your business, you can use different social media platforms to widen your reach and increase brand visibility.

Here are some of the basic profiles for each platform that will help you identify which best fits your business and the brand personality you’re trying to develop:

  • Facebook: This is a great starting point for small businesses to network and launch their social media marketing, because it’s easy to invite the local target market to like or follow your page. It’s also fast becoming the most popular platform for older, more mature users (i.e. 50 – 60 years old).
  • LinkedIn: Like Facebook, this is also known as a networking platform. But it’s more focused on building an audience amongst like-minded professionals from certain industries. It’s directly geared towards promoting your services, positioning yourself as an authority within your field, and even finding talent for your team.
  • Twitter: This is a great platform to engage with younger audiences. It allows a brand to post short updates, interact with followers easily (either publicly on official tweets or threads or privately in direct messages), and quickly spread the word about your offerings.
  • Instagram: This platform allows users to curate a feed of photos and short videos which can include captions. Users can also upload Instagram “Stories” (i.e. photos and videos) that disappear after 24 hours. This allows businesses to promote their brand and offerings in a highly visual layout

2. Think: “If my brand were a person”

Think about your brand personality as an interesting character that your customer can (ideally) relate to and resonate with. To do this, you need to have a clear grasp of what kind of personality you want to develop and promote on your social media pages.

People react strongly to brands the same way they do to other people, and it all depends on how they perceive the other’s personality. By identifying different adjectives and qualities you want your brand to embody on your social media pages, you will have a better idea of how to achieve it. 

If you want to come across as friendly and approachable, your brand personality might be one that responds casually or playfully to followers who comment on your posts. If you want to position yourself as a confident and authoritative leader in your field, your brand personality may be more professional and straightforward.

Imagining your brand personality as an actual person makes it easier to adopt its traits and run the pages authentically.

3. Be consistent

Once you’ve established the brand personality you want to have, make sure you are consistent in maintaining this character on your social media pages. This makes your brand more memorable and recognisable.

If a brand’s personality is usually witty and humorous, suddenly posting in a serious tone might throw your followers off. It’s possible to rebrand your business if your initial brand personality isn’t resonating with your target customer. But it should be a gradual and well-promoted process so that your long-term customers know that there will be changes and aren’t caught off guard.

How brand personality is best communicated through content

To make your brand personality come to life in engaging and unique ways, it’s important to have a strong content marketing strategy in place. Your content is the best way for your brand personality to shine.

Many successful businesses with great brand personalities utilise a content marketing strategy. Casper, a well-known company that sells sleep products such as mattresses and mattress linings, developed a brand personality that “believes in the magic and science of sleep.” They then follow through with an interesting and informative blog that shares insights and helpful tips on how their customers can sleep and rest better.

Nike’s brand personality is “exciting, provocative, spirited, cool, innovative, aggressive, and into health and fitness.” The brand showcases these traits by weaving an inspirational storytelling element in their dynamic content marketing campaigns.

To create great content that resonates with your brand personality, it’s important to maintain good SEO and to be unique and relevant. This way, your content shares important brand messages or answers niche concerns while maintaining your brand personality’s overall voice and tone.

Having a brand personality can definitely aid a small business in expanding its reach, increasing purchases, and connecting with the target audience. Engagement generates leads and creating brand personalities is a great way to do that.

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