So, you want to create the perfect brand representative for your online community? It’s not difficult, but it’s also not as simple as just yelling your message at the top of your lungs from any social media platform you can find either. This persona will deliver your message to the masses online. Your community will gain an idea of who your brand is and what the people, mission and ideas behind your brand are like because of this persona, so take some time to think about what message you want to send. It’s a process – an evolution.
I’ve created a few bullet points that should make the planning stages a bit easier for you:
Let’s say you run a company that sells hunting equipment and clothing.
- Adjectives – What adjectives describe your online persona? – Rugged, fun-loving, helpful, witty, zany, outdoorsy, etc.
- Background – What are the characteristics of your brand? What makes you special? What are you involved in? – The culture of your brand will be very different than a company that makes and sells lacy dresses for toddlers. Maybe your company is the only resource west of the Mississippi for big & tall hunting apparel for men. You may work side-by-side with a charity that supports disabled veterans by getting them back out in the wilderness using outfitters who specialize in handicapped hunting trips.
- Community – What do your fans have in common with each other? What do they have in common with your brand? What are they saying, and how do they say it? How can you help them? – The fans of a business that sells hunting equipment and apparel would likely be avid outdoorsmen who enjoy hunting, fishing, ATV’s, and camping. They probably have a lot of knowledge about the outdoors and spend a lot of time thinking about and planning their next trip. Chances are they are talking about upcoming hunting season, weather conditions, tips and tricks to make hunts a success, where to have their game processed, and perhaps game recipes. You can help them by giving them a community to meet other like-minded hunters, discuss their hunts, share their experiences and post photos/videos of their excursions.
- Discussion – What is your purpose for being involved in social media? Will it be to provide customer support? To educate your community? Promoting products and services? For fun? – The reason you want to be involved in social is to inform your community on the latest tools, gear, and clothing for hunters. You’ve met a lot of hunters through your business over the years so you want a forum to pass along all the great tips, ideas and stories you have heard. You might also want to have some fun with these people.
Use these points to narrow down ideas for your online persona, or voice. Keep these things in mind as you make your posts. Your online voice will naturally evolve over time as you discover what your community expects. You are shooting for consistency in the long run, but you also want your voice to be what works for you and your group as well, so be flexible as well. Don’t be afraid to gradually try new things and make tweaks to find what works the best for your particular online community. Eventually you will have developed the voice that fits best with your brand’s community.