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VOL. 128 | NO. 75 | Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lori Turner

Lori Turner-Wilson

You Have a Nice Personality, But Does Your Brand?

By Lori Turner-Wilson

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We naturally navigate to those with interesting personalities in real life, and so it stands to reason that the same holds true in the digital world. Why, then, do so many brands come across as cold and completely void of personality when communicating through social media?

Considering Facebook’s 1 billion and Twitter’s 200 million active users, you can’t afford to continue messaging to these mega populations sans character. In fact, this lack of personality has much to do with Facebook’s abysmal 2 percent average brand engagement rate.

Take heed from this national consumer brand that’s getting it right.

Kit Kat’s social media marketers were monitoring the “airwaves” and responded quickly to everyday snack consumer @Laura_ellenxx when she tweeted “Can tell I like chocolate a bit too much when I’m following @KITKAT and @Oreo hahahahahah.” Kit Kat’s response: “The fight for @Laura-ellenxx’s affections is on. @oreo your move #haveabreak“ adding an image of a tic-tac-toe board with the center square filled in with an X comprised of two Kit Kat bars.

Oreo played along, quipping “Sorry, @kitkat we couldn’t resist… #GiveOreoABreak” including an image showing the same game board with the two center-square Kit Kat bars partially eaten.

In another splendid example of big brands with big personalities, Oreo went to battle with AMC Theatres. It began with this seemingly innocuous tweet: “Ever bring your own Oreo cookies to the movie theater? #slicksnacker” AMC fired back with “NOT COOL, COOKIE” to which Oreo replied “Fair enough, @AMCTheatres, but don’t hate the player, hate the game .”

To ensure a dazzling brand personality, start by actually acting human – responding in much the way you would when conversing with people in real life.

Allow employees to respond to comments on your brand page through their personal accounts occasionally, so it’s clear there are real people behind the curtain. When they do respond as your brand, encourage them sign their posts with their first name or initials.

If an individual or brand pokes fun, be a good sport and respond with grace – infusing your content with humor. And as demonstrated by Kit Kat, timeliness is key.

Show behind-the-scenes photos of your team having fun, shooting for at least one third of your posts to contain images, which are proven to drive higher engagement levels.

People with memorable personalities have opinions. Likewise, don’t be afraid for your brand to stand for something, as doing so is likely to get your followers to pay attention.

The ultimate litmus test for brand personality: if your brand were a person, would you have him over for dinner?

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and Founder/CEO of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).

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