Personification is arguably the most undervalued and overlooked rule in social media marketing, and it’s invaluable when it comes to cultivating a community that is going to advocate for your brand online.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but personification is the key to digital community building. There is a huge opportunity cost to getting this wrong, and so many brands do.
Merriam-Webster defines personification as the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristic to something nonhuman. Here at Babcox, we implement personification by cultivating an authentic brand voice, focusing on real relationship over vanity metrics, and proactively networking within our communities.
Tone of Voice
It’s easy for us to fall into corporate responses online because they are safe. However, suppressing personality will only hurt your brand’s growth. Your brand’s Instagram bio is a great place to showcase your brand’s tone of voice. In the first example, GAP mentioned optimistic American style. It may sound good, but does anyone really know what that means? There’s no real connection there. On the other hand, Ref’s Instagram bio meets their audience where they are and speaks to them simply. Ref lets the brand’s authority shine by giving it context in a relatable way. I’m sure it won’t surprise you that Ref’s 0.38% engagement rate is much better than Gap’s 0.07%.
Real Relationship Over Half-Hearted Likes
Some brands do community management by liking the comments that are left on their posts or responding with a few emojis, and that’s it. That just isn’t going to grow your digital audience in 2021. It’s not good enough. Our audiences are filled with real people, and we need to show them that we see and value them as we would any potential client or customer.
Proactive Community Networking
Our editors have an entire spreadsheet dedicated to community nurturing that they visit weekly to make sure we keep our audiences a top priority. We want to make sure that we acknowledge as many people as we can when they mention us on social, so they keep doing it. When someone tags your brand on their own personal social media post and they don’t hear from you, it’s unlikely that they’re going to go through the trouble of doing so again. This also opens the door to community members weighing in and giving testimonials on your brand’s behalf in conversations with others online. With new social media channels popping up left and right, it’s impossible to be everywhere all the time. If you can build a strong bond to your brand’s community, you won’t have to because your audience will be there and won’t let you down. That’s powerful! That’s what true brand loyalty looks like.
Ready for your homework? Here are a few actions you can take today to help your social channels effectively personify your brand:
- List out five emojis that your brand will use in captions and when engaging with your community. Start using them and keep them consistent.
- Take a look at your Instagram bio. Is it conversational or corporate sounding?
- Brainstorm five adjectives for your brand’s tone of voice and start implementing (friendly, goofy, serious, etc.).
- Check your tagged photos on Instagram and Facebook. Have you been engaging with both the people tagging you AND those who engaged with the original post? Don’t let valuable community members fall through the cracks.
Looking for more? We offer a full suite of media services backed by a creative team that understands the value of online community. Reach out today! We’d love to help you incorporate personification into your brand’s marketing strategy.