I think the amount of information, studies, tutorials, etc. out there about branding yourself on social media, or in the world in general, has got people scared to try anything risky.
We all just want to be good at it, right? We want to foster engagement with people and have them buy our products and love whatever we do next. So, we try to follow the rules. We try to post at the right times, on the right days. We make our profile pictures just right. We stick to a rigid schedule of posting for fear of losing a follower. We talk about consistent topics and promote our businesses just the right percentage of the time.
But the problem is this: everyone else is doing the same thing. You all have the same set of rules, the same instruction manual, so when you’re trying to differentiate yourself in your industry by sticking to “the rules” of social media and branding, you end up aligning yourself with everyone else.
Not taking a risk with your branding is like following the instructions for a bookshelf and expecting to have built a TV stand.
You can’t assume you’re going to make an impact if you’re doing what everyone else is doing.
Following the rules might be fine for your business; after all, you’re not losing business by blending in with everyone else. But you’re leaving money on the table. By not engaging people with your brand’s personality, you’re equating the entire worth of your business to your product. Your product can speak for itself, yes, but it’s not what gives you your identity.
What’s the solution?
In most “top 10 business tips” or social media articles, you’re not likely to find the thing that gives the most developed brands their success: being different. Amidst the noise of all the other people doing what you do, cut through the chatter with a new perspective, a new voice, or a new way of solving a problem. Give your brand a casual voice, or maybe an aggressive one if it fits your product. Just be different, because you can’t risk not being different.
Now when I say be different, I mean do it strategically and consistently. You want your quirks to be inline with how your business operates and what your product delivers, so that your entire organization is perceived as a unified force in the eyes your audience. You also want to be different in the same way, if that makes sense; not necessarily with the same spin, but coming from the same personality—the identity of your brand.
Even the most mundane of products can be served by a unique and interesting brand. The product doesn’t dictate 100% of the voice you have as the business behind it. Remember, you made this product for a reason. You provide it for people because you recognized a problem to be solved. There is a voice behind that, a set of values, so if you know you’re not like everyone else in your industry, you need to show the public just that.