What is your Online Persona?

When embarking on a social media marketing campaign, one of the factors that you need to consider is your company’s online persona.  Businesses, like people, have a particular persona that represents their brand in the real world.  In social media, your online persona is extremely important due to the conversational nature of the platforms and should be considered very carefully.  After all, this is how you are going to communicate, more intimately than ever before, with your target audience.

Online personas can be broken down into three extreme categories – The Divas, The Experts and The Observers.

The Divas – Divas want to be heard regardless of the message – it’s quantity, not quality, that they seek.  Their aim is to saturate your Twitter stream or your Facebook newsfeed to the point of annoyance.  Divas will more than likely participate in every online platform available to man, so they can spread their message as far and wide as possible. 

The Experts– This persona speaks only occasionally, but when they do, everyone stops to listen.  They are held in high esteem by their peers and are more than happy to answer any questions posed to them and give advice.

The Observers – This is the online persona that simply watches.  They will follow you on Twitter, but never tweet and become a fan of your page on Facebook, but never comment.  They are the voyeurs of social media.

Now I can imagine you are scratching your head right now thinking “I understand the Divas and the Experts, but why include the Observers – surely this would not be a suitable persona for any company’s social media marketing efforts?”  This is where you are wrong.  All companies, regardless of their brand offering, need to be Observers to keep an eye on the competition.  Competitive analysis is an essential part of any marketing campaign.

Deciding on your online persona will take time, patience and experimentation within your chosen social media platform(s).  A good place to start is somewhere in the middle between Diva and Expert.

You should:

  • Know clearly your message – don’t deviate too far off topic
  • Become an expert in your field
  • Be available and interact with your audience regularly– make it a two way conversation
  • Listen to your audience
  • Message at frequent intervals – never go silent for extended periods of time

Always remember to keep your message and interaction with your audience well focused and at a reasonable frequency (your fans and followers will let you know when you have gone too far), so you don’t become a total Diva.  The problem with being a total Diva is, very quickly, your audience realizes you don’t have anything interesting or constructive to say and will stop following or unfan you.  Over time you will find the right balance between Diva and Expert that strikes the correct tone for your brand and your audience engagement – one that helps increase followers, fans, and engagement.

And don’t forget, always make time to be an Observer – Observe you later…

Lindsay Stough is an Online Marketing Coordinator at FluencyMedia.com specializing in Social Media with a particular passion for Facebook.  During her time at Fluency, Lindsay has assisted strategic clients with their social media efforts resulting in award recognition.  She was born and raised in Scotland and has now been Stateside for over 8 years.  Lindsay brings a unique international flare to our marketing team.