A strong brand persona has a lot of moving parts. Not only do you need to have your mission statement, core values, and strengths or USPs, but you also need to cultivate a relationship of trust with your audience and a strong visual identity.

So how do you establish a brand’s persona in the minds of its social media followers? Let’s get right into it with lots of real-life examples from brands you might be familiar with.

1. Communicate your brand’s persona through content.

There are basically two parts to this: the trust and the visual identity. They’re kind of a chicken and egg thing; they both contribute to each other and build the other up.

A brand’s persona needs to be consistent to build trust. The account needs to stay on the same track as far as the type, medium, and design of content go. Establish a brand tone (or aesthetic, for purely visual brands) and stick to it. Extend it to your product too; all of it should come together to create one set of cohesive messaging.

2. Connect with your audience — or don’t.

This goes back to really knowing your audience. I’m going to give two consumer brand examples to show the differences between what “makes sense” depending on the variety in audience.

First, Chanel. Let’s think about Chanel’s brand. Even their Twitter bio states “’CHANEL is above all a style. Fashion passes, style remains.’”. Their brand is built around exclusivity paired with a very specific aesthetic. Do you know what they’re not really doing? Actively engaging with angry customers on their social media. It wouldn’t fit their persona — the cool, almost aloof brand tone they’ve established.

Second, Everlane. Their brand is built entirely around the practice of transparency; everything from their pricing model to their social media strategy, which features #TransparencyTuesdays focuses on this idea. In order to really establish their brand persona in the eyes of their social media followers, their social media strategy stays in line with this idea too — the idea of transparency logically translates into open communication with customers.

See what I mean? Transparency being lived out in their social strategy!

3. Build a branded community.

Building a community around your brand or products allows consumers to build trust with your brand. (“Look, here are all these people that love that product! Maybe I’ll like it too!”)

There are a variety of ways that building a branded community can be successfully carried out, but some popular methods include promoting the use of brand hashtags, product hashtags, and community hashtags. Not only does this have the benefit of creating a brand persona, but also gives the brand an opportunity to crowdsource User Generated Content.

User Generated Content, sometimes referred to as user-created content, is essentially content (images, video, text, audio, etc.) created and posted by fans/users/customers of a brand. All of this further establishes a consistent brand in the eyes of potential customers.

A great example of this is the Instagram account of GoPro and its community hashtag #mygopro. It’s a perfect model for their particular business and audience, considering that the User Generated Content speaks directly to the quality and utility of their products. They’re establishing and selling an aesthetic as well as building trust.

4. Post consistently.

I’ve already touched on this but really, establish a baseline and post consistently. The only way that a persona can really be fully established in the minds of its social media followers is if that persona is continually and continuously drilled into their heads.

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Sarah Augustinsky

Marketing Automation Expert and Consultant