How To Market Your Company’s Personality
Customers today want authenticity and to feel a genuine connection with the companies they give their money to. This means that it is more important than ever for small business owners and marketing managers to show off their company’s personality online.The exact strategy to do so, however, can vary greatly depending upon the brand. To offer some guidance on the best ways to go about it, we present the following fives brands as great examples of companies that are ahead of the curve when it comes to showing the world who they are.
Airbnb has an Instagram account that is a good follow for even people who have never used the company’s service. It simply shows you the world in stunning visuals, with a subtle reminder that you too can go anywhere and stay at a property in its network. By mixing travel photos in with images of homes, the experience of following the account becomes part tourism dream, part architectural design showcase — and 100 percent the envy of anyone itching for an adventure. In this case, simplicity rules the day and a picture really is worth 1,000 words. Nothing could do more to get let people know that Airbnb is a not a hotel but a new type of travel company.
The NBA has long been on the vanguard of social media use, and its teams have continued to generate fan engagement by being playful — and sometimes downright combative — with one another on Twitter. Just like the players, the team social media managers compete with friendly back-and-forth interactions of one-upmanship as wins and losses pile up. Franchises like the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, and Toronto Raptors in particular have made a lot of new fans for their humor and timely comments, and they aren’t afraid to even poke fun at themselves. When LeBron James beat them in the playoffs this season with a last-second shot, the Raptors Twitter account responded by posting about 130 characters worth of angry emoji faces. It was the same emotion shared by million of the team’s fans, helping to forge greater solidarity — even after a painful defeat.IHOP
The world of fast food plays it a little bit more corporate than NBA teams by and large, but those operating the Twitter handles of several of the largest names in the industry also like to have a little fun. Recently, IHOP feigned that it would be changing its name to “IHOB” with the B standing for the burgers it was adding to the menu. It was then mocked by the likes of Burger King and Wendy’s for stepping into their territory. The brands all went back and forth and it made enough of a buzz that all of them — especially IHOP — for more free marketing than they would have just by adding burgers to their menu alone. Combined, it all helps to reinforce the notion that this isn’t gourmet dining. IHOP wants you to know it is a family-friendly place to get a good bite to eat with a smile on your face, and this shows that to the world.
Wendy’s is another restaurant that has really earned some social cred in recent years, never more than when it boasted about its beef never being frozen last year after McDonald’s pledged to stop freezing some of its hamburger patties. One user questioned their claim by asking if the company delivers the meat “raw on a hot truck.” Wendy’s didn’t let them off easy, highlighting that they must have “forgot refrigerators existed.” The many tweets citing the incident got millions of retweets and likes while dozens of publications wrote articles about the run-in, giving the brand a ton of free press and buzz in a way that its “fresh never frozen” slogan could never create.
Of course, the key to promoting yourself online and showing your personality is to be authentic. If being a bit sarcastic and mischievous doesn’t align with your culture, don’t force it. There are plenty of ways to show yourself to the world in a genuine way that also resonates. Amway, through its Amway Connections blog, for example, is one company that has devised a great way to tell the world who it is. The blog is updated regularly with articles that discuss the company’s vision and values, highlighting not just the corporate culture but what the company aspires to be. It even has the dual benefits of also helping to inform potential buyers and associates how the enterprise operates in the market.Showing the Real You
There is no exact right or wrong way to show the world your brand’s personality. The worst approach is one that is not genuine, like when an oil company goes too far in highlighting its green initiatives or a small business gets overly embroiled in the latest political controversy of the day in a clear ploy to grab attention and curry favor with a special interest group.
The best approach is to instead just highlight the values that your company truly stands for and produce content that reflects the services and lifestyle you are trying to promote. For sports, that may be a combative persona, while fast food has an inclination toward playful debates about who has the best burger. For more staid corporations, it is best to just showcase your commitment to the local community and how you change lives through employment and by providing opportunities. And if you are in a line of work that has stunning visual components, lean into that.
If you do it right, you won’t just get more engagement on your individual posts. You will go beyond pure marketing and help consumers come to really understand what you represent as a company. And in this day and age, establishing that personal connection is invaluable.