May 08, 2013

Be the brand you want to be.

I quit Twitter 4 years ago. I became annoyed reading posts about what people ate for breakfast, or that their favorite American Idol contestant was “so amazing last night.” Who cares?! Certainly not me. That’s why I decided to cut myself off from being one of “those people.” I promised myself that I wouldn’t return until I could provide something worth people’s time.

In the meantime, I set up my blog with the intent on sharing stories about my twin daughters and all the things that were going on with them. I needed an outlet for family and friends, who didn’t see them all that often, to be able to follow along with their lives from a distance.

As the girls got older, it became increasingly more difficult to track the new and exciting events in their lives. This was especially true when they started talking. That’s when the light bulb went off. I could use Twitter to keep track of it all (in 140 characters or less). The beauty of it was that it wasn’t me, it was them. It was content that people might actually want to read.

From that point on, my Twitter account, blog and the majority of my Facebook quotes would be “Twicethefunny.”

This…was my social brand.

Throughout the process of finding my own personal brand voice, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels to how brands should approach social media. Too often today, brands are just on social media for the sake of being there. Everyone else is. Right?

They’ve heard that if they don’t have a Facebook page, Twitter handle or a Pinterest account, then they’re missing a great opportunity to reach their audience. They crank out post after post in an effort to get in front of their consumers and “stay top of mind.” But that’s not really the point of brands on social media.

Brands often don’t take that step back to see if what they’re doing within these channels actually adds value to their followers’ day. They may not have the time to look at how they can create content, specific to each social channel, that allows their audience to consume their brand in bite-sized, valuable nuggets that they want to share, don’t mind reading or exploring. And to be successful in this space, brands have to make the time to figure out what their brand voice is. They don’t take the time to figure out what their brand voice is or to understand what’s important to their followers in these specific channels.

Obviously, it’s easier for me to go through this exercise for myself; it’s what I do for a living. There’s no pressure to “sell” my brand online, create meaningful content (my kids do that for me), or to justify spending money hiring someone to do it for me. But if you ask me, one of the most important things a brand can do online, in the social space, happens offline. First, understand who you are and what you have to offer. Then, find ways to creatively deliver that to your audience so they won’t just turn you off, unfollow you or hide you from their feed. Once you’re out, you’re out. And the last thing you want to be is one of “those people.”