Monday, August 23, 2010

Your Social Media Output Should Be An Extension Of Brand Personality

Social Media Networking is part of the overall marketing scenario. It is not a separate silo that one works within. Our Social Media efforts are an extension of the brand's overall marketing efforts. Just like any other aspect of marketing like advertising [print, tv, radio, outdoors etc], Social Media is also one of these. Ofcourse the modus operandi would be different. However our target audience would be part of the overall target audience itself.

This means that if our customer is viewing our brand say for example on TV it is very essential that they meet the same personality on the internet as well. If on TV our core brand personality is projecting ourselves for example as humorous and easy going then it is crucial that in the online medium as well we have similar projection. Which goes to say that the Social Media person who is actually communicating and interacting with the customer sets needs to behave in a similar method. However we need to be careful here; not to over do or cross the line, as a matter of speaking. Humorous as i have shared is just a very light example. As we create a brand personality there is more added to humorous as well in the sense there could be a tongue in cheek kind of personality another could be wise and so on. The main idea that am trying to share with you is that we all need to be very much cued into understanding how our brand should be in the online space.

There is more to brand personality while working online as a Social Media person. We need to fine tune and zero down on the brand personality to an extent that as and when we face a crises say an irate customer, we should be well aware of 'how are we approaching the irate customer'. If for instance the brand personality is for teens and contemporary with interest in the latest happenings and portrays the 'cool' lingo, when faced with an irate customer we cannot loose out on the personality aspect however the same brand would be a little serious and would try to talk it out and solve the situation. We cannot be high handed during crises.

Hence, we need to understand the brand personality as a person. We need to know and be clear on how the brand reacts and acts. The brand should be considered as a human being. Naturally this is how you would draw out the brand personality. Afterall it is one human that can deal with another human under dynamic situations. The sense of the brand personality should be  the way you would know your very close friend. You can almost predict how your very close friend would act and react in various situations of life. Be it at their home, amongst relatives, amongst their friends, at work, in a meeting etc. Similarly we need to be clear on the detailing of our brand personality.

Many a times we will notice that Social Media is a live test of the brand personality. We will see that we are living and actually breathing the personality of another person [the brand].

Infact if you notice once you understand the brand person the way around comes with ease. You will notice that you will be able to clearly select the sites to live and expand on. You will automatically know if you should be on MySpace, Flicker, or restrain yourself to Facebook. You will also understand if at all you need to be on LinkedIn if you are directly dealing with say for instance school children. You will notice that School Children would take parent permission [atleast we hope that they would] in the online space given a lot of scams etc. If this is the situation then parents will be comfortable seeing you on LinkedIn while the actual target audience [school children] may not visit your LinkedIn profile. 

So this brings us to three aspects of personality understanding:
One is knowing your 'Brand' Personalty [along with Category Personality ofcourse]
Another is understanding the 'Social Media' Network 'site' personality
And thirdly is to understand the 'Customer' Set personality
These three pointers are not in the order that are shared above. All of them have equal importance.   

How do you bring alive the brand on the Social Media space? Do join in and share your experiences.



  1. I do agree to some extent that a company needs to maintain its brand personality across all channels. However, don't you think that a brand personality need to be less formal and more social on "social" networks?
    Even if you are a serious company and communicate that through TV ads, newspaper ads, and basically all traditional media, shouldn't you loosen up a bit to fit in?
    It's like you said, you need to the brand personality to reflect that of an actual person. An actual person would be formal in a corporate setting, and informal in a social setting (even if he/she is formal by nature but he/she would try to fit in).
    My most prominent example is Th New York Times; if you follow their tumblog, you'll see that they are quite social and enjoyable on that network!

  2. Thank you Manal for dropping in here and thanks for sharing your inputs. Yes i agree with you that while the brand personality is to be extended across all channels the core of the site should not be missed out. This is why there is reference and mention to ' Another is understanding the 'Social Media' Network 'site' personality '