Stepping Out of your “Formal” Zone

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Trust has always been a key factor in a good producer-consumer relationship. Companies build this through their branding and marketing strategies. However, in the competitive world of business, how does one stand out? 

One way of building trust with your target audience is by being candid to your social media followers. Doing this gives a sense of comfort to consumers. More often than not, companies are expected to have the “formal voice” when they post on their social media channels. Professionalism gives a sense of authority and legitimacy that companies want.

However, times are changing. Some traditionalists might find this shift to having a candid and more casual language on social media strange. But as Stephen Guise describes it, companies need to have their own “personality” to stand out among other businesses. The goal is to always remain relevant to your market so that they’ll remember you.

Through this way, companies can determine how they want to communicate with their existing and potential consumers on social media. 

Now this begs the question: how do you step out of your “professional” zone? 

Who is your audience? 

In the pursuit of becoming more candid and relatable, you have to identify who your audience is. For example, media company Netflix identified that their users are mostly fans of the shows that they offer. Here, they can apply fan culture to their social media channels by incorporating memes in their collaterals, sharing fan-favorite scenes, and using fan lingo. The reason behind this is because Netflix aims to create a genuine collaboration with audience members who can catch forced enthusiasm. 

As seen in the photo above, Netflix promotes the film by creating a meme to gain the attention of Mamma Mia fans. 

Pizza Hut follows this kind of candid tone by identifying the typical “Pizza Hut” lover in their Twitter bio. This reinforces their “relatable” character on social media. As you can see, adding a bit of humor to your posts also helps consumers feel that you are more human rather than just being a monotone brand.

How can you get your audience on board? 

Another way to approach personalization is by delving into areas that are not usually visited by marketing strategists, such as your target market’s past and history.

For example, in 2019, Burger King launched one of their past products by mysteriously liking influencers’ tweets from 2010. Influencers were quick to notice and were tweeting about the weird occurrences, causing the strategy to become viral. Burger King then revealed that it was for their funnel cake fries, a product that was first released in 2010.

Burger King was able to look at areas where other strategists failed to look—the fast food chain banked on nostalgia and emotions to reach influencers they could possibly work with. This approach is truly creative and unique in a sense that it’s not often done by other brands.

It is important for content marketers to always ask themselves how they could get their target audience to discover them and explore their offerings. Paying attention to the smallest details could be your first step. 

What can set me apart?

Filipino motorcycle ride-sharing company Angkas is known for its quirky and candid tone on social media. Their social media channels are filled with fun content such as memes and playful dialogue. It is evident that Angkas is not afraid of stepping out of the “professional” zone. The strategy may seem risky at first because the humor behind their posts may not be relatable to all, but the company’s followers show that they are immersed and interested in this type of content. Because of this, Angkas receives thousands of likes, comments, and shares on all of their social media channels. 

Angkas’ tweets show their comfortable dialogue by playfully calling their users “panget” (ugly in Filipino), or by joking about how their recent Motorcycle Passenger Shield will be copied by their competitors.

This kind of social media language becomes “viral” because of its uniqueness and the subtle controversy it brings. While doing this may likely attract wide attention, it is still important to be conscientious and cautious of your content. Being careless is not a personality. As a brand, make sure that your social media persona still makes sense to your company’s objectives.

Going out of that “formal” zone can be tricky. However, asking these questions will help in building trust with your audience. The strategy is not about creating controversy or being viral—it is about finding the balance of mindful content marketing and a vibrant personality for your brand.

Consumers want to feel important and reassured that your brand is the best that they can relate to. Establishing true relationships with your clients and seeing them eye-to-eye can help you start curating a personal content strategy that delivers sound results. 

Visual by: Chloe Gaw

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