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It doesn’t matter how great your brand is if consumers don’t “get” you or your messaging. If perception is reality (and it is), a killer brand identity is crucial to your success. Here’s how to use social listening to nail it down.

Who are you talking to?

Yes, it’s your brand, but choosing an identity consumers care about depends upon understanding just that – what they care about! If they’re young and hip, being serious and stodgy won’t do it. If they’re more mature, an image of youth and fun with a Spuds McKenzie-esque mascot will miss the mark.

So start with your audience. Who are they? You might have an idea, but don’t assume you know it all. When you examine the interests and passions of your core demographic using sentiment analysis, you’ll certainly find others with the same interests beyond those demographic limitations.

Only then can you create a brand identity that makes sense.

What do they want from a brand in your niche?

Once you know who your audience is, you need to know what they expect from your brand. Use social listening tools to examine all brands in your niche to identify strengths and weaknesses of competitors in addition to analyzing what your audience thinks of you. This gives you a sense of what your audience loves – and hates. Both are important.

You can use something they hate to create your identity around solving that problem – or take what they love up a notch in some way.

You can also use this competitive intelligence to try something that’s never been done before – if your social analytics reveal a desire for it. In a situation like this – and it also applies to rebranding – you’d want to closely follow social conversations in real-time to allow for course corrections if needed.

This was the approach the Sacramento Kings’ agency took when launching their new logo. Because they were attuned to fan concerns leading up to the launch, the new logo reveal went off without a hitch.

Make it personal

With all of this information at hand, you have the tools to decide how you’ll share about your brand on social media. You’ve got to be human about it – because sales pitches fall flat and send consumers running to other brands.

So what persona will you ascribe to your brand identity? Conspiratorial sibling or friend? Nurturing parent? How you approach engaging with your audience is as important as what you sell, and what you stand for. Your social presence should feel like an organic extension of your brand online and in-store.

Consider Jiffy Lube. Their Twitter bio states they want you to “Leave Worry Behind.”

And their Twitter feed reflects this sentiment with posts focused on informative tips about car maintenance and safety:

Consumers don’t want to be marketed to – they want to feel like they’re in the inner circle, as if you’re talking to them one-on-one. Deliver individualized messaging to the differing audience segments you identify in your social listening and you’ll achieve that perception – whatever your brand identity.

Ready to find the perfect identity for your audience? Get in touch for a demo of our social listening tools.

Image from Terry Johnston

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