Social Media Messaging: What personality type is your brand?

| May 21, 2013

 Social Media Messaging: What is your brand's personality type?Ever eavesdrop on the next table at a business lunch? It’s amazing what you can learn about individuals just by listening to their contributions to the conversation.

The Bragger keeps talking about the new product he’s developing. The Questioner draws others into the discussion. The Critic tells a hilarious story about a dumb mistake made by a competitor’s sales team. The Teacher describes how her team solved a major organizational problem. And the Enthusiast talks about what a great person his boss is.

Take a look at social media channels and you’ll observe the same dynamic at work and the same personalities being revealed. It’s interesting to see how often people (or companies) fall into a particular social media personality.

If you have an established social media program, do a quick audit of your channels (blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others). Count how many of your statements in each channel align with each of those personalities. What’s your dominant personality, and is it one that people would want to do business with?

The Bragger

Most companies using social media tools go a bit overboard in this role — it’s a throwback to the bad old days of one-way communications.

You could argue that social media is all about bragging.  Many people use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter primarily to show off to their friends – whether this involves uploading pictures of their luxury vacation, their creative cake-making, or their fancy new car.

But bragging can backfire horribly –for social users and businesses alike. In the best case scenario, you’re seriously turning people off. People just aren’t interested in reading about every sale or deal that your company has made. Even worse, if you’re not smart about your ‘brags’, you’re leaving yourself open to public ridicule.

Let’s look at the recent case of Gloria Jean’s Coffees. This Australian coffee franchise was heavily criticized in Australia for funding a number of religious causes that are well-known for their anti-gay stances.  The company publicly apologized for any offence that was caused by this – but then brew up another PR storm by bragging about its donations on Twitter. Even worse, they gave these brags the hashtag: #WithHeartLocal .  Unsurprisingly, the hashtag has caught on for all the wrong reasons, with people using it to show their outrage at the coffee chain.

 

gloria jeans

 

If you have to brag, brag smartly and make sure that it doesn’t go over 50 percent of your total social media activities. There are more effective ways to weave positive mentions of your company and products into social media comments.

The Questioner

Being the Questioner is challenging because you need to quickly compile and provide feedback on your followers’ responses. But this type of social media communication is also the most effective because it involves the customer and provides them with personalized information.

Provocative or topical questions always generate the most responses. Take a look at this question posed by a LinkedIn member a few months back. He asked the highly topical question: “How many people working in IT have a degree?’ The response was overwhelming – with nearly 370 people replying within just a few days. This particular question wasn’t a B2B business promotion but a similar question could easily be adapted and used by technology, education or recruitment specialists.

net

The Critic

No matter how clever the snipes are, companies that play the Critic role run the risk of coming off as negative or mean-spirited. A good example of this is easyJet’s recent spoof of a British Airways (BA) advertising campaign. BA’s slogan “To Fly. To Serve” was parodied by easyJet, who launched the slogan ‘To Fly. To Save.’ easyJet aimed to make fun of BA for wasting valuable money on its advertising campaign and asked its Facebook fans what they thought of their clever ad.

Unfortunately for easyJet, not everyone responded favorably. Many fans responded with words like ’jealous’, ‘bitchy’ and even coined the term ‘sleazyJet’.

BA

Do yourself a favor and think carefully before employing such tactics.

The Teacher

Playing the role of the Teacher is generally a win, particularly if your lessons are of real value to your customers and prospects. You can use tips to drive traffic to your sales pages with the solutions you’re selling.

Marketo, a popular marketing automation platform, does this skillfully by offering informative articles and tips on topics that are highly relevant to its target audience. The company follows three simple steps:

  1. Tweet or post a message about a valuable article (i.e. an article that teaches users how to incorporate social into their marketing strategies).
  2. Link to a blog or article from this tweet or post
  3. Add a link within the article to more detailed information…that can only be accessed after the user completes a lead capture form.

The company entices and gains the interest of its target audience by offering ‘free’ tips and advice. Once it has gained the respect of the user, the company then asks for his or her contact details.

 

marketo

 

The Enthusiast

Everyone wants to do business with an Enthusiast. Posts in the style of the Enthusiast should make up at least 30 percent of your social media activities. Never miss a chance to congratulate a vendor, a customer, or an employee — particularly if you can also provide followers with information on how they did such a great job or garnered a particular honor. Not only does this build great relations with the vendor, customer or employee in question, but it also gives a ‘human’ face to your brand. As social media is all about building relationships on a personal level, it’s a big mistake to ignore the ‘enthusiast’ that lives within all of us.

Take a look at Cancer Research UK’s Twitter feed – it never fails to personally thank its supporters and cheer on the initiatives of its followers.

 

cancer research

 

Just like this charity, your business also relies on the unwavering support and trust of your fans, followers and employees.  So go on – show them some appreciation!

So which personality are YOU?

Once you start looking for these personality types in social media communications, you see them EVERYWHERE. Have any great examples from other brands? Do you feel there are other personality types that may be missing from this list? Be sure to share them below.

 

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Category: Recruit 101, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Tools, Special Agent Intermediate, tmmBosley, tmmCharlie, tmmJill, tmmKelly, TMMPDX, tmmSabrina

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 Social Media Messaging: What is your brand's personality type?Ever eavesdrop on the next table at a business lunch? It’s amazing what you can learn about individuals just by listening to their contributions to the conversation.

The Bragger keeps talking about the new product he’s developing. The Questioner draws others into the discussion. The Critic tells a hilarious story about a dumb mistake made by a competitor’s sales team. The Teacher describes how her team solved a major organizational problem. And the Enthusiast talks about what a great person his boss is.

Take a look at social media channels and you’ll observe the same dynamic at work and the same personalities being revealed. It’s interesting to see how often people (or companies) fall into a particular social media personality.

If you have an established social media program, do a quick audit of your channels (blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others). Count how many of your statements in each channel align with each of those personalities. What’s your dominant personality, and is it one that people would want to do business with?

The Bragger

Most companies using social media tools go a bit overboard in this role — it’s a throwback to the bad old days of one-way communications.

You could argue that social media is all about bragging.  Many people use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter primarily to show off to their friends – whether this involves uploading pictures of their luxury vacation, their creative cake-making, or their fancy new car.

But bragging can backfire horribly –for social users and businesses alike. In the best case scenario, you’re seriously turning people off. People just aren’t interested in reading about every sale or deal that your company has made. Even worse, if you’re not smart about your ‘brags’, you’re leaving yourself open to public ridicule.

Let’s look at the recent case of Gloria Jean’s Coffees. This Australian coffee franchise was heavily criticized in Australia for funding a number of religious causes that are well-known for their anti-gay stances.  The company publicly apologized for any offence that was caused by this – but then brew up another PR storm by bragging about its donations on Twitter. Even worse, they gave these brags the hashtag: #WithHeartLocal .  Unsurprisingly, the hashtag has caught on for all the wrong reasons, with people using it to show their outrage at the coffee chain.

 

gloria jeans

 

If you have to brag, brag smartly and make sure that it doesn’t go over 50 percent of your total social media activities. There are more effective ways to weave positive mentions of your company and products into social media comments.

The Questioner

Being the Questioner is challenging because you need to quickly compile and provide feedback on your followers’ responses. But this type of social media communication is also the most effective because it involves the customer and provides them with personalized information.

Provocative or topical questions always generate the most responses. Take a look at this question posed by a LinkedIn member a few months back. He asked the highly topical question: “How many people working in IT have a degree?’ The response was overwhelming – with nearly 370 people replying within just a few days. This particular question wasn’t a B2B business promotion but a similar question could easily be adapted and used by technology, education or recruitment specialists.

net

The Critic

No matter how clever the snipes are, companies that play the Critic role run the risk of coming off as negative or mean-spirited. A good example of this is easyJet’s recent spoof of a British Airways (BA) advertising campaign. BA’s slogan “To Fly. To Serve” was parodied by easyJet, who launched the slogan ‘To Fly. To Save.’ easyJet aimed to make fun of BA for wasting valuable money on its advertising campaign and asked its Facebook fans what they thought of their clever ad.

Unfortunately for easyJet, not everyone responded favorably. Many fans responded with words like ’jealous’, ‘bitchy’ and even coined the term ‘sleazyJet’.

BA

Do yourself a favor and think carefully before employing such tactics.

The Teacher

Playing the role of the Teacher is generally a win, particularly if your lessons are of real value to your customers and prospects. You can use tips to drive traffic to your sales pages with the solutions you’re selling.

Marketo, a popular marketing automation platform, does this skillfully by offering informative articles and tips on topics that are highly relevant to its target audience. The company follows three simple steps:

  1. Tweet or post a message about a valuable article (i.e. an article that teaches users how to incorporate social into their marketing strategies).
  2. Link to a blog or article from this tweet or post
  3. Add a link within the article to more detailed information…that can only be accessed after the user completes a lead capture form.

The company entices and gains the interest of its target audience by offering ‘free’ tips and advice. Once it has gained the respect of the user, the company then asks for his or her contact details.

 

marketo

 

The Enthusiast

Everyone wants to do business with an Enthusiast. Posts in the style of the Enthusiast should make up at least 30 percent of your social media activities. Never miss a chance to congratulate a vendor, a customer, or an employee — particularly if you can also provide followers with information on how they did such a great job or garnered a particular honor. Not only does this build great relations with the vendor, customer or employee in question, but it also gives a ‘human’ face to your brand. As social media is all about building relationships on a personal level, it’s a big mistake to ignore the ‘enthusiast’ that lives within all of us.

Take a look at Cancer Research UK’s Twitter feed – it never fails to personally thank its supporters and cheer on the initiatives of its followers.

 

cancer research

 

Just like this charity, your business also relies on the unwavering support and trust of your fans, followers and employees.  So go on – show them some appreciation!

So which personality are YOU?

Once you start looking for these personality types in social media communications, you see them EVERYWHERE. Have any great examples from other brands? Do you feel there are other personality types that may be missing from this list? Be sure to share them below.