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Building an Authentic Brand Persona on Social Media: 17 Tips and Challenges

Seventeen industry leaders, from CMOs to business owners, share their trials and triumphs in forging a genuine social media presence for their brands. From adopting flexible storytelling to building a dedicated team, this compilation offers a treasure trove of strategies to maintain a consistent brand voice across various platforms.

Brand Persona

Building an Authentic Brand Persona on Social Media: 17 Tips and Challenges

Tip 1

Adopt Flexible Storytelling

Alex Jasin - Featured

Our organization fostered a community-centric approach to cultivating an authentic brand persona on social media. By displaying user-generated content, taking suggestions from the audience, and paying attention to their criticism, we actively engaged our audience. The variety of content formats and character constraints presented a barrier for us in keeping a consistent brand voice across platforms.

We adopted a modular storytelling style to get around this. We created central brand messaging that was flexible enough to adjust to the limitations of each platform without losing the essence of the story. This modular strategy ensured consistency without sacrificing innovation by enabling us to tell a single brand story over a variety of media. We achieved a balance between consistency and adaptability by customizing content modules to match certain platform dynamics, enhancing the legitimacy of our brand in the constantly changing landscape of social media.

Tip 2

Dynamic Consistency Across Platforms

Brad Filliponi - Featured

Growing an authentic social media persona involves more than pixels; it’s about developing a digital personality. Maintaining a consistent brand voice across platforms was a challenge we faced head-on.

By embracing the diversity of each platform, we turned this challenge into an opportunity. LinkedIn became our professional discussion forum; Twitter, a resource for quick industry insights; and Instagram, a canvas for visual storytelling. Weekly cross-platform alignment meetings were started to ensure harmony.

My advice to other entrepreneurs is to adapt without compromising core values. Consistency isn’t a rigid mold; it’s a dynamic dance that echoes your brand essence across the eclectic symphony of social media.

Tip 3

Enhance Brand Trust With Honesty

Jayden Ooi - Featured

Jayden Ooi, Managing Director, Nightowl

The foundations of building a deep connection with your audience are trust and honesty. However, most businesses tend to take the route of lying and pretending, which could leave a negative impression of your company in the minds of others. Every firm strives for brand authenticity, but failing to embrace previous issues or to conceal the facts will not shield you from past errors.

As humans, we can sometimes share posts that seem appropriate to us but may harm the sentiments of others. In such a scenario, the best course of action is to accept your error and apologize. This simple act of addressing the issue will not only establish respect for your organization, but people will also tend to trust your brand more because of your honesty.

Tip 4

Always Include Links

Jarik Oosting - Featured

Jarik Oosting, Managing Director and Founder, SmartRanking

Every social media platform has different algorithms, and it’s challenging to post according to them and cater to the audiences. Although our brand modifies posts according to the audiences’ preferences on various social media platforms, we keep one thing consistent: in each social media post, we always include links.

As a result, users can click the link and directly go to the service we promote. They will get all the necessary information from the page. Sometimes, we also post links to the homepage of our website, which lets them learn about our brand and all our services and offers. They can also read our case studies and blogs. Thus, posting links in our social media posts helps us create an authentic brand persona.

Tip 5

Maintain Constant Audience Engagement

Daniel Ufland - Featured

Creating an authentic brand persona becomes easier when maintaining constant touch with audiences. Building communities on social media and being active on them is one way to achieve this. Another method is by responding to customers’ queries, complaints, and praises on the brand’s social media pages.

Our company follows this approach, always being available for our customers on social media, which helps depict the customer-friendly image of our brand. We also share or repost posts from our audiences who tag our brand, and we seek their opinions or views on our new product launches. This constant audience engagement is key to maintaining our brand persona.

Tip 6

Take A Modular Content Approach

Ilan Nass - Featured

Ilan Nass, Chief Revenue Officer, Taktical

Weaving a story that spoke to our audience and represented our values helped our organization develop a real brand identity on social media. Adapting to the different user demographics and behaviors on each channel posed a significant barrier to preserving a consistent brand voice across platforms.

To solve this, we adopted a modular content approach. We created essential messaging components that never changed, which helped us preserve the spirit of our brand. Concurrently, we developed flexible content modules that could be tailored to particular platforms while maintaining the overall brand voice. This modular strategy offered the adaptability required to engage a variety of audiences genuinely.

By striking a balance between consistency and adaptability, we successfully traversed the complex terrain of diverse social media platforms, thereby cultivating a unified brand identity.

Tip 7

Promote Your Expertise

Luke Van Der Veer - Featured

As an entrepreneur, I promote my expertise on various social media platforms. It helps me to establish an authentic brand persona on social media. I participate in many seminars, webinars, podcasts, and YouTube shows, where I give lectures on niche-based topics or talk about my brand.

Besides promoting my brand, I can demonstrate my expertise, which already boosts the image of my brand’s persona. I share all my shows on social media platforms to enhance my brand’s persona. My target audiences and existing customers can see those posts and develop trust in my brand. My brand’s persona becomes authentic to them, and they start showing more interest and trust in my other social media content.

Tip 8

Choose Consistent Traits, Tone, And Values

Sally Johnson - Featured

To have an authentic brand persona, one must choose consistent traits, tone, and values. A brand persona becomes most relatable when it maintains these aspects on all digital platforms.

Our brand’s persona emphasizes generating excitement among audiences. This characteristic is among the Big Five of brand personality. Our brand’s objective is to try innovative methods to deliver the best value to our clients.

We highlight this in all our social media posts. We want our content to appeal to our audiences’ imagination. We want to accentuate that audiences can utilize our service to fuel their vision for their events. No matter what platform we use, we always maintain the same trait.

Tip 9

Stay True To Your Niche

William Manning - Featured

Building an authentic brand persona on social media involves staying true to our niche. Although experimenting according to market changes was considered, it proved ineffective. Consequently, we decided to focus on our niche and avoid venturing outside it.

Our business assists clients in finding the best building suppliers and contractors, and we consistently create and share content related to our services on various social media platforms. This approach has helped us reach our target audiences effectively.

By capturing their attention and establishing our expertise, we have encouraged them to engage more with our social media posts. As they access more information, their visits to our website have increased.

Tip 10

Showcase A High Quality Visual Strategy

Kamil Bajolek - Featured

Kamil Bajolek, PRM Brand Director, PRM

Our primary investment has been in high-quality photo shoots that showcase our brand’s clothing. We believe that by presenting our products through top-tier photography, we accurately reflect the premium quality of our offerings, giving our consumers a clear and honest view of what they will get.

We collaborate closely with renowned fashion photographers, drawing inspiration from their vision and expertise to bring a “front cover” quality to all our images. Our social media feeds are curated to reflect this high standard, creating a visual narrative that resonates with our audience.

One challenge we faced in maintaining a consistent brand voice across different platforms was adapting our visual strategy to suit each platform’s unique environment and audience. For example, one might use more lifestyle-oriented shots for Instagram, while opting for more detailed and product-focused images for platforms like Pinterest.

Tip 11

Create A Humorous Content Formula

Tasia Duske - Featured

Our brand found social media success by sharing memes. We created a simple formula for content creation: take classic museum artwork and caption it with relatable, modern-day commentary. This style perfectly encapsulated the spirit of our brand of renegade museum tour experiences by taking something intellectual and highbrow and making it more fun, accessible, and entertaining for modern audiences.

The memes were shareable for museum lovers and more casual observers alike, which helped us earn more views and follows. However, while platforms like Instagram and Facebook were more conducive to this kind of content, posting it on a platform like LinkedIn wouldn’t be appropriate.

For this channel, we curated a page, but we didn’t have as much of an active presence. Knowing where to post is just as important as what to post, and sometimes it is better to post nothing rather than something that conflicts with the platform or your brand.

Tip 12

Highlight Your Personal Voice

Aiden Higgins - Featured

Aiden Higgins, Senior Editor and Writer, The Broke Backpacker

Travel blogging is a business full of many different people and businesses, to where it’s difficult to differentiate your content from someone else’s. This is especially true if you are following certain trends. Because of this, we felt it was very important early on to put our personality first, as people may favor our content because of what we personally have to say, not just what we are saying. This personality carried over to social media.

It is still difficult, as you need to grab a new potential user’s attention with your content, so differentiation here can take a lot of work. However, having your brand voice be different from other people in your industry helps to maintain the audience that you have built.

By being your authentic self, your brand voice will be consistent because it is truly you. For companies with multiple individual voices, try to sign your social media posts with the name of whoever wrote it, making it more personal.

Tip 13

Unveil Authentic Interactions

Saya Nagori - Featured

Being as real as possible is the key to achieving the much sought-after “authentic brand persona” on social media. I truly believe unveiling the most transparent side of your business, in the form of, say, behind-the-scenes for a campaign or simply portraying your work culture, does a lot. It signifies your vision, mission, and, most importantly, your brand values, which bolsters your brand persona.

One challenge we faced was being consistent across all platforms. You might agree that every platform comes with a slightly different audience and, thus, their reaction thereafter. Keeping up with the pace and ensuring all your social media platforms appear to be alike was a bit bothersome.

Fortunately, social media management tools ensure that everything is lined up and well-automated with real-time insights based on real metrics. Perhaps, consistency even aids in building a good community and generating loyalty.

Tip 14

Bridge Gaps With Customer-Centric Branding

Nick Valentino - Featured

Nick Valentino, VP of Market Operations, Bellhop

The key to our branding is to put two groups of people front and center: our satisfied customers and our moving teams. We know the importance of reviews and recommendations when choosing a moving service, and we also know that the movers are the ones who will actually be interacting with the customers, so we strive to build our branding around those core ideas.

One of the real challenges with branding across platforms for us is bridging the generation gap. People who are moving at different stages in life have decidedly different budgets, tastes, and priorities. Reviews from baby boomers moving to their retirement home are going to be a lot less meaningful to millennials buying their first house, for example.

Tip 15

Tailor Content To Audience Demographics

Rick Berres - Featured

The thing with different social media platforms is that you don’t encounter the same people on all of them. They tend to be split according to generation and use. So you’ll find Boomers on Facebook, Gen X on Twitter, Millennials on Instagram, and Gen Z on TikTok—you get the idea. That means you can’t post the same exact content in the exact same voice on every platform. That makes it tricky for consistent branding.

You either tailor your voice to pull in a specific audience, or you limit yourself to the platforms you think jive with your voice and business philosophy. We don’t really market to Gen Z—at least not yet!—because they’re not the bulk of homeowners just yet. We’re still focused on Millennials and up. So we don’t mind if your branding doesn’t appeal to Gen Z and, more and more, to Boomers, because they’re not the ones buying homes and hiring us for renovations. Once our target customer changes, our approach and branding will also change.

Tip 16

Combine Transparency And Simplicity

Jessica Barzler - Featured

For Barzler Social, our number one differentiator that established authenticity in our brand persona was, and still is, transparency and simplicity.

No smoke and mirrors.

We don’t play with fancy jargon, clickbait, or fluffy marketing talk that drowns our audience in confusion just to make an easy sell. We throw in the numbers, show off the results, and keep it straightforward.

In terms of staying consistent across different platforms, the challenge always comes down to the unique vibe of each platform that you have to slowly adjust to. Our strategy was the advice we’d give any of our clients: Show up with your own face, your own voice, your own opinion. People, especially today, are craving something real and raw, even if it means interrupting their usual scroll routine. So give it to them.

Tip 15

Build A Dedicated Team

Michelle Robbins - Featured

Michelle Robbins, Licensed Insurance Agent, Clearsurance.com

Our digital media company in the insurance industry initially asked all of our writing and editing team members to take on the additional task of regularly posting insurance content and linking to one of our sites on social media. However, we quickly realized we needed a dedicated staff for social media, a detailed instruction guide, and video tutorials to maintain a consistent brand voice across different platforms.

So, we now have a dedicated social media team that is well-versed in promotion, writing, editing, SEO, audio, video, and graphics to consistently repurpose compelling social media content created by our insurance experts.

Building an Authentic Brand Persona on Social Media

You’ve heard what the experts had to say, now it is your turn. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.