As online communication has become more ubiquitous, people are becoming more conscious of their online persona and reputation. Brands also strive to develop their own identity, and how they express themselves online plays a role in building positive relationships with customers. Therefore, it’s imperative to consider what image you and your business convey via the medium of digital technology.
Let’s start with some overall rules to keep in mind when utilizing Zoom for communication with your B2B partners. First, it’s hard to judge your own body language while communicating online. What we think of as professionalism may come across as a cold shoulder to some people, while overly friendly online tactics can potentially seem unprofessional. The key is to appear engaged, open to communicating and most of all, be open to feedback. It’s important to know how your audience reacts to your style of engagement. So, don’t be afraid to ask your client how you did. Third, be consistent in your presentation and with the thoughts and ideas you express. One way to get your online persona on track and consistent is to spend some time creating it.
When it comes to brainstorming big ideas such as how to develop a consistent brand voice, I like creating mood boards and then sharing those ideas with a team. It gets people engaged when they are part of the building process, which is a bonus since they likely have useful information and insights to share. Get some supplies at the dollar store or Target and put together a mood board expressing who or what you want your online personality to be. A great place for some mood board inspiration is Pinterest. It’s a free resource that has great ideas; use them to your advantage!
Once you have started to give life to your online personality, think about how you are going to develop this idea across all your online platforms. Some ideas to incorporate into your mood board:
It would be great if these coordinate with your store, but don’t be afraid to start a new palette if your store doesn’t utilize a lot of color. Select a few bold colors, and a few complementary colors.
Preferred fonts: Using the same font consistently is important. Pick two at the most. Make them easy to read and keep it simple. Remember that font gets super tiny when people are viewing your stuff on their phones. Super-swirly fonts are hard to read, as is lots of cursive.
Start building your social media audience with some consistent hashtags. Think about hashtags that represent what your store believes in, or the work you do with your customers. Here are a few ideas that may resonate with your audience: #pleasureproducts #adultretail #pleasureboutique #sexeducation #customereducation #pleasurematters #closethepleasuregap #selfpleasure #selflove #selfcare.
Once you’ve set the tone, look and mood, here are some other steps to take that will help you maintain consistency and project the image that best represents your brand:
Make a list of all the social media on which you have existing profiles. It might be time to update those online spaces with new content. Yelp is a great place to showcase your store, yet I rarely see stores that have posted their own images or showcased the beauty of their location. Don’t let your customers speak for you on such an important online venue.
Social media content
Make sure to link your Facebook to your Instagram account so you are posting on one platform but reaching both audiences, cutting your work in half . Think of creative video ideas, especially in today’s age of TikTok. Get your store noticed! Utilize your mood board as you go and allow it to become your online personality guide. Customers will start to see the consistent messaging and become more familiar with who you are and what your business has to offer.
Promoting a sense of community is a huge part of maintaining an online presence. Making sure your “digital personality” is community-oriented and represents sex positivity is important because it gives customers a sense of whom they are supporting when they choose to buy from your business.
Lastly, expressing emotion is a part of digital body language and the easiest way to do that is by using emoji, hashtags and clear messaging. Try to remain consistently upbeat in your messaging, word choice, and use of emoji. If your store is passionate about work in your community or the ways you give back in your industry, share that! For example, do you work with Planned Parenthood in your community? Let your audience know by sharing your experiences and thoughts through your social media posts and stories.
Our industry is full of fascinating people, including some of the most knowledgeable retail associates I’ve ever worked with, people who are truly genuine in wanting to help customers. We work tirelessly to ensure we are trained to our full potential and that we can make a difference in customers’ lives. In other words: You don’t need to create an online personality — it’s already there. You just need the tools to share it with the world.
How to Develop Your Brand’s Online Personality for Engagement, Success by Danielle Seerley originally appeared in XBIZ