Updated: Jan 22
Words like “branding” and “marketing” can make some people twitchy, but even if you aren’t actively selling or promoting something, your online persona helps followers remember you and want to engage.
Jenna Kutcher, marketing entrepreneur and host of the Goal Digger podcast, says that, “If you have a personality and a voice and a true beating heart to your brand, not only will you make a greater impact but you will invite people to be a part of that impact.” But how can you show personality and make an impact online while having fun?
Twitter especially makes it easy to retweet content you like, as well as post (or respond) with gifs. (Facebook comes to mind here, too). Here are a few actionable tips to consider the next time you open your social media app.
Know your brand
Before we get any further, take a few minutes to consider your brand. And if the word “brand” is throwing you off, think about what you want followers (and friends) to associate with you. This will likely include something related to your business, job, or interests (ex: writing and reading for me). Add in a few personal or fun items, too like parenting, tacos, traveling. This is what shows your personality and helps others relate to you.
Gather a few ideas so you can vary your content and look at the kind of stuff you usually share and talk about. My list includes writing and books, mimosas, cats, teaching, and Twitter. Chocolate is on my list, too.
Retweet and share brand-specific content
Now that you have an idea of your personal brand, make sure you are following people who post related content so that you can also share that information with your followers. For example, if I want to share motivational sayings, but I don’t always want to be the one creating them, I make sure to follow and retweet others who are doing this exact thing really well.
While I might have a sudden interest in something like an anti-inflammatory diet, if I start posting lots of articles about health and nutrition, my followers will likely be confused. Even worse, people may start to unfollow you if they aren’t interested in that content. A easy fix in this case is to explain why you’re posting this kind of information by sharing a personal story and asking followers for more tips and suggestions.
Some people might ask why you would ever share another person’s content if your goal is to get your followers to trust and rely on you. The simple answer is credibility. Quoting or sharing someone else (especially someone with credibility) helps to build your own ethos. Think of it as mixing up your content and sharing something relevant for followers who are also interested. In this way, you are serving others while staying on brand.
Step up your gif game with consistency
Responding and posting with gifs is one of the most fun parts about social media. While gifs can be overused and should never take the place of your original content, they can be the perfect accompaniment to your brand.
Think of it this way: gifs are often used as a substitute for your own reaction. Someone screaming when they’re angry or applauding in response to another’s good point. The gif can seem like an avatar. It’s why I usually use gifs of females fist bumping rather than males. I want my reactions to seem as much like me (and my brand) as possible.
Note: this is not a requirement at all. If your goal online is to just have fun and you don’t care about branding, I am not speaking to you personally.
Go back to the list you made earlier and consider your personality, as well. How do you want others to see you? Are you friendly and sarcastic? Witchy and strong-willed? Knowing this will help choose gifs that are on target with that message. I use a lot of Leslie Knope gifs, personally, because she is motivated, strong, and funny, which is often the mood I want to convey.
Gifs and retweets can be used strategically while still having fun with social media. It’s that simple. If you’re going to spend time online anyway, you might as well make all of your interactions count.
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