Written by Gabi Deckleman, an account executive on the APWA account team

Brands are everywhere. So much so that they drive us to wear what we wear, buy what we buy and follow what we follow. And just like us, brands have personalities. Social media gives brands a voice that may not be heard without an online persona, including the messages they decide to post on social media accounts.

Building and creating personalities online can be hard. Just like us, brands want people to ‘click’ to follow them and make a personal connection.

What do you want others to think of you?

The first step in creating a successful brand persona on social media is deciding how you want people to view you. Who do you want to attract to your product or service? A connection needs to be made with a certain type of audience. How you come across to your audience needs to be consistent to strengthen your brand persona. If your brand has been negatively viewed in the past, this is your chance to prove that you are more than what others say you are.

What do you sound like?

Language and tone are key for brands on social media, as these factors give words meaning and your brand a voice. How do your tweets make your audience feel? Are they funny or informational, or both? Make people feel good by providing content that will make them want to continue following you. Do you engage with your audience? Doing so on social media creates loyalty. Make it clear that you not only care about your brand, but also what your influencers have to say. The more likely you are to engage, the more likely people are to remember you and interact with your product or service. People speak about brands all the time online, and this your chance to speak to your audience directly.

Fun Fact: People are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media if they have occasional contests.

What do you look like?

How does your brand appear on Instagram and Facebook? How about Snapchat? Do people follow your brand for the stunning pictures of mountains, or delicious pictures of food you post? Decide what you want your brand to look like online. Creating a visually appealing profile is the easiest and quickest way to earn new followers. Make people remember you by eliciting excitement for a new post by your brand. Remember to be consistent and post continuously – you don’t want your followers to get bored or confused. Some brands that are doing this well are Red Bull and Taco Bell.

Most importantly, don’t leave your followers hanging. Always give your online following something new to learn, engage with or obsess over, and don’t be afraid to let them know what your brand is all about.


Gabrielle is a junior majoring in advertising at the University of Oregon with a focus in branding and strategy. After graduation she hopes to move to San Francisco or Seattle to pursue a career at an advertising agency.

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