As you are branding yourself through social media channels you have probably noticed that you are creating a persona for your brand. The words you use, the attitude you take, the kinds of things you retweet, favorite or like all help form your persona that is an extension of your brand. This can be a personal brand for you as an individual or it could be for your business of many people.
It’s because social media is constant and quick that it is easy to create a persona almost immediately and fit into that role.
Masters of Disguise
When you are promoting more than one business because you are a n ambitious entrepreneur or because you are in the social media business promoting for others, you probably find yourself going in and out of roles like acting in a one-person play. You’re the perfect homemaker for one business, a fashionista for another, a caregiver for yet another, and then you let loose as the snarky person you are under another moniker that may or may not be your own.
Your image takes shape as you keep posting under that persona, but your literal image—the picture you use—matters. I think sometimes people forget that the photo says as much about their persona as their words. A member of the media who has a photo of herself wearing a slip dress with boudoir-red wallpaper in the background tells me not to take her seriously as a journalist. The image says romance, fashion, evening out, but her tweets are about local politics. It’s awkwardly incongruent. Choose an image that is consistent with the persona you are playing.
Divide and Conquer
We all have inner dichotomies that if we expressed fully it might seem as though we have multiple personalities. However, you might feel as though if you don’t express both, then you’ll explode. By all means, release the pressure! It’s easy by dividing those attitudes and creating another persona. Angels and Devils can both love your product after all.
Imagine you have a mommy blog that is very successful with ads and product giveaways, and maybe even a book deal based on your posts—the whole kit and caboodle! Your reputation is based on being extremely gentle with new, nervous parents. However, you notice that there are some recurring really stupid questions (yes, there are stupid questions, I firmly believe that, but that’s another post for another day) to which your inner smart aleck has developed a long list of clever answers that are less than gentle. You could easily create another Twitter handle with the persona of a snarky mother-in-law who addresses these questions as if they came from her nervous Nellie of a daughter-in-law, also with links to your gentle blog. You don’t have to use your logo or your personal image. Use a photo of some cat-eye glasses or some other icon. She becomes your spokesperson even though the way she introduces the blog is much different than what you are ultimately creating. That persona follows different kinds of people than your gentle persona and therefore captures different followers and expands your market.
Chances are you probably already do this to some degree, even as an individual there are things in your life that you make public and things you don’t. I recently asked my Facebook friends if they post every book they read on their profile on GoodReads.com. One person said they did. No one else answered. This might be an incorrect assumption, but I do believe they don’t post every book and did not want to admit that by answering my question. We worry what people might think of us if they knew about the racy fiction—or even just less than literary fiction—we really enjoy, so we just curate the persona we want to portray through our reading choices.
Just apply that same allegiance to whatever persona you want for your company or organization and stick to it.
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McCormick L.A. has been helping businesses and organizations in and around Long Beach with their public relations and marketing needs for over 20 years.