In a world where 21% of Millennials can’t go a single hour without checking their social media feeds, how do brands find their voice and break through the clutter for a meaningful social experience? From influencers and hashtags to boosts and sponsored posts, navigating the current social landscape can be tricky and cumbersome. In 2019, social media is much more than tactics and channels, but what’s the secret to success?

Gone are the days of push messaging so your brand has a “social presence”. Social has evolved to a point where people rely on channels for news, trends, go-to advice and business. At the recent South by Southwest panel: Is Social Media the New Fast Food?, healthy versus unhealthy content was a crucial topic because consumers understand the addictiveness of social media and are actively seeking ways to reduce their exposure. At a time when there is so much going on online, developing a strong strategy and executing this can have lasting impacts.

Start the conversation

Consumers are smarter than ever, and they realize when a brand is trying to take advantage of their time and money. Case in point, 53 million people liked a photo of an egg so that it became the most-liked photo on Instagram just to prove a point.

Brands who still take a robotic approach to social may struggle more with their followers and engagement than those who are embracing a humanistic approach. Engaging in one-to-one conversations online, can help brands be approachable, give them a personality and create an environment where consumers want to engage with them.

Take for example Wendy’s, a fast food brand who’s been around for 60 years. What is so exciting about Wendy’s that over three million people follow them on Twitter? They’ve taken a unique approach to their social posts starting in 2017 and have only continued to ramp up the personality. Initially, they trolled competitors, but today they’re using their cheeky wit to post about relevant trends, promote new products, have conversations with consumers, and really bring Wendy’s persona to life.

Screen shot of Wendy's tweet
Wendy's twitter exchange with Chance The Rapper

Find your voice

So, how do you change your strategy to be more human? It won’t happen overnight, but exploring your brand attributes can give you good direction for what your tone of voice should be on social media. Establishing your brand attributes will be crucial to creating your successful social media strategy. Is your brand clever and witty? More professional and business-oriented? Creating a list of these characteristics and adding them to your brand guidelines will encourage consistency for all future content. Next, focusing on who your target audience is, you can customize your content for that group of people. What is your industry? Are you speaking to men or women, or both? Honing in on the demographics you’re trying to reach will help you be more specific in your message to reach the right people.


Instagram screenshot of GE


Instagram screenshot of Tiffany and CO

Be responsive

From there, placing more importance on responding to followers and engaging with comments can kickstart your focus on conversations. 25% of people think brands don’t respond quickly enough so being responsive to your customers can create more fans online. By responding to comments, you’re establishing that one-to-one presence that your brand should be harnessing. People want to interact with the persona of your brand and by liking and responding to customers you’re providing an interaction they never had before with you. It can excite brand loyalists and entice new followers to learn more about what your company is all about. 

Instagram screenshot of Revolve Beauty


Ultimately, bringing your brand to life and engaging with consumers will showcase your brand persona and build your fanbase. Your three main takeaways should be: 

  1. Value-added content is here to stay. Don’t be a robot or push messager, dig up content that your audience actually wants to see.
  2. Take time to understand your brand persona and objectives to reach your target audiences in unique ways and give them branded experiences they’ll enjoy rather than scroll past.
  3. Continue to cultivate one-on-one conversations through responses and likes. Engagement is crucial and everyone is looking for interaction. 

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