3 minute read
Moving your brand onto social media sites presents a lot of great opportunities for online marketing, but simply setting up a Facebook page won’t be enough to help you reap the full benefits. While marketing has always been about communicating with customers, social marketing is actually a two-way conversation. This brings up an interesting question: What does your brand sound like to real people?
It can be surprisingly difficult for brands to find their “voice” online, and they have to walk a very fine line in the process. It’s easy to say too little, but it’s just as easy to say too much. Either way, you run the risk of turning off potential customers with what seems to be a lack of authenticity and personality. If you get it right, though, customers will come to think of your brand as a friend, rather than just a company—the type of relationship that leads to brand ambassadors and future referrals. And the results can be a huge win in terms of increased customer engagement and loyalty.
The Skittles brand serves as a great example of how finding your voice can truly engage customers. Take a look at the Skittles Facebook page or Twitter feed, and you’ll see that these sites are full of quirky, off-the-wall posts about rainbows, candy, or, apparently, whatever comes to mind.
Here are a couple of recent Facebook posts:
Are those the kinds of posts you’d expect to see from a candy company? Definitely not. But they work well for a company whose current slogan is “Taste the Rainbow.” So what exactly is Skittles doing right?
Skittles candies aren't unique, but their brand’s social voice sure is. And that voice differentiates the Skittles brand from every other candy brand on the market. For instance, many of Skittles’ posts are written in the first person, which gives customers the impression that there are real people behind the brand (which of course there are):
By speaking in the first person, Skittles humanizes its brand and charms customers into remaining loyal.
Skittles also does a great job of getting their fans more involved via fun, colorful online marketing campaigns. In 2012, Skittles launched the “Greatest Fan in the World” campaign. Every week, the brand chose one fan-submitted photo to showcase in a highlighted banner post with an offbeat caption:
All of the photos were posted directly by fans of the page, which shows a rare level of customer engagement. And it’s all because of the authentic voice that Skittles brings to the social media community.
With colorful visuals, attention to fans, creative campaigns, and off-the-wall yet humorous posts, Skittles has developed a truly authentic and memorable brand. The candy company knows who it is, and it has definitely found its voice. This is proven by the high levels of online engagement that fans have with the brand. How successful has Skittles been on social media? Well, with 24 million Facebook fans and more than 65,000 Twitter followers, Skittles is doing something right.
It takes time and a fair amount of introspection, but ultimately it comes down to truly understanding your brand and then bringing a unique voice to the table. These are the things that will help your company stand out from the growing crowd of online personas.