Ever wondered how some companies effortlessly capture attention, engage their audience, and create a strong brand identity on social media? Many of them define, build and maintain a compelling brand persona on their social media platforms

Defining Your Brand Persona

Simply put, a brand persona is the personality and image your business portrays to the world. It combines your values, beliefs, and characteristics in a way that makes your brand unique and relatable. In pre-digital times, companies tended to build the equivalent of their brand personas in the form of symbolic mascots like Betty Crocker, Mr. Clean, or Tony the Tiger. With social media, brand personas have become less about mascots than attitudes projected via content. Think of a brand persona as simply a humanized version of your company that connects with your audience on a deep level.

Brand Persona Strategies in the Social Media Era

Social media has transformed the way companies build their brand personas. Here are a few strategies that have emerged on the platforms:

  • Authenticity and Transparency:
    Social media branding has enabled businesses to project a “realness” that seeks to transcend traditional marketing and help forge personal connections with their audience. For example, when Burger King tweets a message like “making a BK run, lmk what y’all want?” as part of their Twitter strategy, it creates an instant and authentic closeness with its target.
  • User-Generated Content (UGC): Social media has given rise to user-generated content, which enables customers to become brand advocates and contribute to brand persona development. For example, Airbnb has successfully leveraged user-generated content to build its brand persona centered around travel experiences. Hashtags like #AirbnbExperiences build social proof by letting users share photos and stories of their unique stays on Instagram, providing social proof and inspiring others to embark on similar adventures.
  • Community Building and Social Listening: Social media lets companies build online communities centered around their brand through which they can share content, actively listen to their audience, and refine their brand personas accordingly. For example, fitness tech company Peloton uses their social channels to share workout advice, get users to share tips and achievements with each other, and hear their customers’ needs and preferences.
  • Influencer Marketing: Social media influencers have become powerful conduits for
    businesses to build their brand personas, leveraging the influence of individuals whose values align with their brand. Of course, brands like Nike pioneered the practice, resonating with the aspirations of its target audience by collaborating with personalities like Michael Jordan. More recently, Fenty Beauty has featured influencers from diverse backgrounds and skin tones to showcase what’s behind its tagline “beauty for all”.

    Influencer’s makeup video on Instagram helps build Fenty Beauty’s brand persona
    Fenty Beauty leverages the popularity of influencers like the beauty + lifestyle personality @golloria on Instagram to burnish its brand persona and “beauty for all” attitude.
  • Micro-Influencers and Niche Targeting: Social media lets brands collaborate with micro-influencers who have smaller but highly engaged and loyal followings. This allows brands to target their ideal audience and create a more personalized and relatable brand persona. For one example, activewear brand Outdoor Voices works with fitness enthusiasts, yogis, and outdoor adventurers who resonate with their target audience, ultimately fostering a vibrant community around an active and healthy lifestyle.
  • Interactive Storytelling: Interactive features like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and TikTok challenges let brands tell engaging stories in immersive ways. National Geographic uses features like Facebook 360 photos and Instagram carousels to bring followers up close to the wonders of nature and cultural heritage, which reinforces its brand persona as an authoritative source of knowledge, adventure, and environmental conservation.
Airbnb leverages user-generated content by using the #airbnbexperiences hashtag
With its #airbnbexperiences hashtag, Airbnb leverages user-generated content to build its brand persona around its customer’s travel episodes.

Social Media Management Tactics for Building Your Brand Persona:

Building a strong brand persona on social media requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Here are a few tactics toward creating, developing, and nurturing that persona:

  1. Define it
    Clearly define the values, voice, identity, and personality traits that represent your brand. It’s better to at least have an idea of this before you start executing campaigns instead of learning as you go. Determine whether you want to be playful, professional, eco-friendly, or any other defining characteristic. Understanding your brand’s essence will guide your content creation and engagement strategy.
  2. Develop a consistent visual identity
    Use a cohesive color palette, typography, and design elements that align with your online brand persona. For instance, if your brand persona is energetic and youthful, use vibrant colors and dynamic visuals that reflect that spirit. Visual consistency builds recognition and reinforces your brand identity.
  3. Engage with your audience
    Social media can be a direct connection to your key demographics. Engage in meaningful conversations with your targets. Respond promptly to comments, messages, and mentions. Show genuine interest, ask questions, and encourage dialogue. When you actively engage with your audience, you humanize your brand and strengthen relationships.
  4. Use live video to tell stories
    Live video lets you connect with your audience more personally, and create an authentic and interactive experience. Host live Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes glimpses, product launches, or tutorials. Integrating narrative elements into your live videos can help bring your brand persona to life and foster a sense of connection and exclusivity.
  5. Listen…and analyze the sentiment
    Pay attention to what your audience says about your brand on social media. Use social listening tools like Sprout Social to monitor mentions, hashtags, and conversations related to your brand. Then try sentiment analysis via Idiomatic or Reputation to understand how your brand is perceived. When you actively listen to your audience’s feedback, you can address concerns, respond to trends, and refine your brand persona accordingly.
  6. Monitor and adapt
    Monitor your social media analytics as regularly as possible to get insights into what content resonates with your audience. Analyze engagement metrics, audience demographics, and reach. Use these insights to refine your content strategy, make data-driven decisions, and tailor your approach. Stay adaptable and open to feedback from your followers. For instance, if you notice that your audience engages more with video content, focus on creating more of it in the future.

Building a brand identity and persona on social media is an ongoing process. It will pay off to continuously evaluate your strategies, adapt to evolving trends and audience preferences, and stay true to your brand’s values. These strategies can enable you to nurture a compelling brand persona that resonates with your target audience and drives long-term success.

Your brand persona can be key to an overall optimized social media marketing strategy, along with the automated content management and posting capabilities that dlvr.it provides. Learn how dlvr.it can help you take the next step.