Not that I’ve ever done so myself, but if you ever were to go to couples therapy with your significant other to solve a problem that you both just couldn't seem to solve by yourselves, one of the very first things that your therapist would tell you is that besides mutual compromise, the key to a healthy relationship is communication.
The reason why relationship therapists place such an emphasis on communication is due to the fact that it’s an integral component to not only reaching a resolution to a current conflict in a relationship—it also goes a long way in helping prevent potential problems in the future.
As a brand, communication is also key to building a great relationship with your target audience.
Nonetheless, whether it’s to effectively communicate with a significant other, a friend, an associate, or in this case—with your startup’s target audience, it is compulsory to talk to them in a way that they could relate to and just as importantly—talk to them where they actually are.
And just where is your target audience these days? Why, on social media of course. Which is why it is so important that as a brand, your startup has a great social media persona.
Think about that one relative or friend that I'm sure we all have that no matter where they go, they become the absolute life of the party to the point that everyone adores them and looks forward to seeing them showing up to an event after they’ve gotten to know them.
Unless you’re that relative or friend in your social circle, it may seem as if that person who is the life of the party has an innate gift of knowing how to make people like them. But in all actuality, that person simply understands people and therefore, could adapt their personality to appeal to an array of audiences.
Years ago, people like your popular relative or friend would have been known as a social butterfly. However, that term has now been replaced with social media influencer. That’s because the biggest party in the world that just about all of your brand’s target audience attends—is social media.
Which is why it is imperative that as a brand, your startup serves as a gracious host at that party.
Try and think of your brand as the host of a poppin’ party. And what’s the one thing that all great hosts have in common? An understanding of what their audience enjoys.
For example, if you were to host the MTV Video Music Awards, the vernacular and jokes you use that would land with your audience probably wouldn’t land the same if you were to use them while hosting a PGA banquet.
Much like hosting a major event, creating a great social media persona begins by understanding your audience so that they could relate to your brand’s personality. To do that, make sure that you could answer the following questions about your audience:
How does your target audience talk?
What do they love?
What are they interested in?
What amuses them?
What offends them?
How do they want to feel?
Once you’re able to correctly answer all six of those questions, you’ll officially be ready to create a social media persona that your target audience could relate to and adore.
Choose the right tone
Much like creating a brand personality for your startup (which should be done prior to creating your social media persona—and which you can find out how to do here), choosing the right tone is key in creating an ideal social media persona for your startup.
Keep in mind that the objective of your social media tone is for it to align with your brand’s overall personality to ensure that your messaging and imagery is congruent with what will resonate with your target audience.
One of the cool things about selecting the proper tone for your startup’s social media persona is that unless you have absolutely no filter, we all have some type of experience in altering our tones to fit our audience.
Case in point, it would be a pretty safe bet to say that you probably wouldn’t speak to your grandmother or another elderly family member the same as you would your close friends in the locker room at the gym.
What’s more, if you ever went on an interview for a job, you probably didn’t speak the same way to the person interviewing you as you would to your co-workers that were on the same level as you after you got the job.
The reason why people alter their tones is because perception matters in communication. And whether consciously or subconsciously, most people speak based on the way that they want to be perceived. And branding is all about influencing perception in the mind of your audience.
Which now brings us to one of the most important questions that you must answer pertaining to your brand—how do you want your brand to be perceived by its target audience?
What we discovered is that just about every brand will fall into one of the following five personality categories:
Once you determine how you want your brand to be perceived by your audience based on its personality; consistently using the right tone in your social media posts will help influence how consumers will perceive your brand.
Ways to post on social media based on tone
Now that you understand your brand’s target audience and what they relate to. And you also know just how you want your brand to be perceived by its target audience. It’s now time to combine all of those elements to create the perfect social media persona for your startup.
And the way to do that is by posting on social media based on tone. Here’s how to do that:
If you want your brand to be perceived as enlightened, its social media posts should be informative, strait-laced, and matter-of-factly. Many brands that post on social media with enlightened tones are typically in the medical/science industry (e.g. Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble).
If you want your brand to be perceived as vibrant, its social media posts should be hip, humorous, entertaining, and contemporary. Brands that post on social media with vibrant tones are typically brands that target youthful minded consumers (e.g. Chili’s, Ruffles, Sprite, Wingstop).
If you want your brand to be perceived as heartfelt, its social media posts should be wholesome, principled, and family friendly. Brands that post on social media with heartfelt tones are typically brands that aim to appeal to every member in your average family (e.g. Campbell’s, Nestlé, Nickelodeon, Tide).
If you want your brand to be perceived as daring, its social media posts should be rebellious, adventurous, and outgoing. Brands that post on social media with daring tones are brands that typically target consumers who are bold, intrepid, and uninhibited (e.g. Budweiser, Ducati, Jansport, Monster Energy).
If you want your brand to be perceived as upscale, its social media posts should be elegant, classy, and grand. Also, brands that want to be perceived as upscale rarely, if ever, use emojis in their posts (e.g. Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Versace).
Take a look at the social media pages of any of the brands mentioned above and you'll notice that everything they post on social media is aligned with their brand's personality.
Remember, everything that your brand says or does should be guided by how you’d like your target audience to perceive your brand. And your brand’s social media persona will play an enormous role in influencing that perception.
With that in mind, it is your job to make sure that everyone on your brand’s social media team is aware of the importance of proper communication—which should always align with your brand’s fashioned personality.
Need help managing your startup’s social media accounts?
Gone are the days when a company having a social media presence was merely something that could be taken into consideration. In today’s market, in order to truly build your startup as a brand, it is essential that your company has an active social media presence.
Our marketing firm, Decryption, was created to help startup’s like yours connect with consumers through various mediums—especially social media—by ensuring that your brand conveys the right tone and messaging that will resonate most with your ideal audience
After contacting us and becoming a Decryption client, we’ll help manage your startup’s social media accounts to ensure that your brand communicates with your audience in a way that’ll create more awareness for your business and will help bring consumers closer to your brand.