On our blog, we have written about the journey of making the extensive amounts of Big Data reveal as well as increase the social ROI. This is of course paramount to making the wheels of the bus go round. But another thing that is just as essential to becoming a profitable social media success, is to understand the basic ground rules of partaking in social media: the users.

Last week, in our “tip of the week” on our Facebook page, we urged brands to remember two essential things about communicating on social media channels:

Today, I will take a closer look on our own advice, in order to fully explain and explore the necessity of understanding the platforms on which you are communicating. Even though you’ve managed to put social media into your budget, you have not necessarily secured your brand’s social success. Obviously. It takes a thorough knowledge of your target group as well as your own brand identity to create a trustworthy social brand identity.

Time to get personal
At Mindjumpers, we spent a lot of time on constantly optimising and developing our own take on community management. In the centre of any good community management approach is of course the identity of the brand. As last week’s tip suggested, for an identity to work on social media, you have to remember one crucial fact about social media: it’s personal. Most social networks started as a space for people to connect with other people in private.

Though brands have entered these private forums, the networks are still a place where you have a private profile. It is a window into your most personal and private moments, and a place where you spent your private time. Bearing this in mind, as a brand you will have to speak to the users from a persona they will find relevant and trustworthy, if you want them to listen.  You have to create a special bond between your brand and the personal lives of your target group. As Ted Rubin wrote yesterday, “…like building a strong relationship with your kids, the benefits of building relationships with customers will have a far-reaching and long-lasting impact. “ Point being, that showing personal qualities in an engaging brand persona will make your target group listen over time, once you have proven your worth. And once they listen – so will their friends and this is when social ROI becomes attainable.

Personality creates loyalty
Understanding this corner stone of all social networks will hopefully help you overcome angry fans. Ted Rubin’s point is that even though your target group is not always willing to listen to your message, they will grow a sense of belonging and loyalty towards your brand over time, if your community management plays by the rules of engagement. Yesterday, FastCompany shared some of the best social media advice from their readers. Submitted by social media super users, these comments hit the head on the nail:




Brand ambassadors will guard your social reputation

These loyal fans become brand ambassadors who will protect and defend your brand when the brand is criticised by others. The service industry is a good example of both good community management (= brand loyalty) and the opposite. Airline companies and telephone companies are especially targets of a constant, daily stream of negative comments:

In the two examples above, the brands found support in brand ambassadors. To take a recent example of a different kind of brand loyalty, we look to the Facebook page of hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj. The last few weeks it has seen a massive storm of extremely negative comments towards her from the Muslim community due to the lyrics of one of her old songs, Beam Me Up Scotty. Most comments reflect the sentiment of this message:

Though the page has a new hate post every minute these days, the “Posts by Page” tells a story of loyal fans showing support:

Yes, there are more than 2,000 comments that are predominantly hateful. But the post has close to 30,000 likes. The voices of the loyal fans might be drowning in the mayhem of haters, but they have found a way to show their support and loyalty by pressing “like”. Being successful on social media means having a brand persona that talks directly and not down to your fans in an engaging and relevant tone of voice. This will ensure you a base of loyal fans that will even act as brand ambassadors on your behalf.

If interested in reading about crisis management, please read our latest series on the matter.


Has your brand considered the importance of a personal factor when being on social networks?