When developing content for your social media channels, it’s easy to go “off brand.” And that’s okay.
In fact, using emotion to drive your content is often essential to delivering an effective viewpoint or voice to your consumer. However, you can run into problems if you haven’t used your brand as a litmus test to confirm that what you’re saying rings true.
Your brand has a voice. Perhaps it’s James Earl Jones. Or Joan Rivers. The content is rooted in that “character,” if you will. When you deploy a directive, therefore, be sure to check it against that established voice. The caveat is that you can introduce any number of supporting external players.
Think of it as having multiple people in a room advocating the brand. They might each have a different style, but they won’t corrupt the brand as long as your audience understands that each voice comes from a different source.
Imagine you are a sports beverage manufacturer who wants to establish a sense of lifestyle and engagement around the brand. So you develop social media content that expresses the interplay between your product and the consumer’s exercise and recreation time. You’ve done this by:
- Establishing conversations around a particular sport or recreation
- Developing campaigns with blogger outreach
- Investing in paid advertising on social channels
- Constructed infographics to show benefit
Now you have to prepare for the dreaded end-of-year holiday campaign.
Maybe you could establish a connection by touting the benefits of replenishing electrolytes while shopping for an artificial Christmas tree. Then again – no. That has all the appeal of The Golden Girls in a pole-dancing class.
The better approach is to construct a revised emotion and new voice for your brand to let the holidays play a role in your overall marketing. Think of it like adding another layer. You spent all year building a conversation with your audience, so bombarding them now with holiday-themed calls to action is brand suicide. But constructing a new emotional position can allow you to speak on behalf of multiple directives.
Just as you would craft a persona for a customer-positioning message, think of your brand voice as a particular individual. Does the emotion of the new messaging or call to action seem like it would come from your brand? If not, you have the opportunity to craft a unique voice that remains independent. Be forewarned, however, that introducing multiple voices inside your brand ecosystem can be powerful – or venomous if not treated with respect.
“SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Everything must go!”
That approach is only suitable if you’re going out of business and you just don’t give a shit. Or if you own a drag strip in Terry Haute, Indiana.
Why? Because that voice is a train wreck. It is the voice of the drunk uncle who ruins every family reunion. It’s the thing you said that nearly ended the relationship with your girlfriend.
So create a checklist from the perspective of your brand to determine if you require a different voice:
- Does your brand believe in this messaging?
- Is this something your brand would say and support?
- Even if independent from your brand, is this something your audience wants to hear?
If you intend to use emotions such as humor, concern, or fear in your content, position it from the brand and ask yourself if it feels authentic. If it doesn’t, then you need to determine how to woo your audience into falling in love with it.
Understanding that today’s communities are more fickle than ever, it’s important to understand that consistency in messaging is important. The more in touch you are with the emotions your brand extends to the audience, the more powerful your relationship with them will be.