Today’s social media landscape has become extremely cluttered and fragmented. Consumers hardly have the time or the leisure to pore over content that do not interest, educate, inspire and entertain them or make them feel empowered.
Social Media Managers and brands are trying to build content buckets that differentiate them from the rest, but often they fall prey to a “me-too” strategy. The gap is not just that of a unique content strategy but also the lack of a unique voice. Social media, being a conversational platform, brands need to be humanized. So how do you give your brand a unique voice and humanize it on social?
Invent a character. Even if your product lacks a mascot or cannot evolve into a character like Oreo or M&Ms do, you can create one and build it.
Characters give you a unique voice, build recall and help you start conversations. Unlike celebrities and brand ambassadors they don’t need large investments or management. You can experiment and reinvent when you want and in any way you like. Let’s look at some factors that are vital in building a successful character:
The Character should be a reflection of your brand
When you think of a character, the first question you should ask is: how does it compliment and relate with my brand? The object you pick or the avatar you create should be able to reflect what your brand stands for. For example, for a Hawaiian theme restaurant chain, a coconut, as a character, would compliment it really well.
Build a strong Character Sketch
Define the character and its traits really well. Go deeper and flesh out every aspect of its personality. Give it a unique tone of voice. Create its own lexicon and bring the character to life. Make sure the personality sketch connects with your target audience.
For example, Sony Pix , a Hollywood movie channel, introduced Notty Pixy, a Hollywood Insider who brings breaking news and gossip from Hollywood, giving Sony Pix followers fresh news and content. Since users are getting interesting news first hand from Notty Pixy, it helps the brand build loyalty with the users.
Once you have defined your character, the tonality and its unique approach, stick to it. Try to embed it in everything you do on social media.
Be Patient and invest
Characters take time to build. Be patient, don’t expect instant results. Invest your time, creativity and media in building and helping it humanise your brand. M&M’s has managed to create a distinct identity by clearly investing in shaping the character and even creating multiple variations
Break self-imposed rules, think out of the box and make the character communicate with your audience in newer ways. If you think a viral video with character holds promise, do it. Be bold and take risks. Experimentation is the key here.
Go ahead, build it and humanise the brand. A humanised brand can start conversations easily and help you engage better.