Unhinged Social Branding, feat. Parish Hayes - Ep. 72
September 8, 2023
Updated Feb 09, 2024
In this episode, we have a special guest host! Parish Hayes, Strategist at Fohr, discusses social strategies and personal branding. He highlights successful brands that break the mold, as well as those who are ‘unhinged.’ Parish also shares how the right influencer can help add that spark to a brand's social strategy without compromising its tone and messaging.
Below is a portion of the episode transcript for your reading pleasure. Make sure to subscribe to the Fohr YouTube channel to get notified of new episodes, and watch the full episode below.
Consistent branding on social, or unhinged for the win?
Should a brand's tone, messaging, and voice be consistent across all platforms? Or is it okay to have a little bit of unpredictability every now and then? I recently watched a video by Alex Hormozi, who said that branding is about creating constant associations between your product, your messaging, and what your audience likes or the problem that needs a solution.
Here’s an example Hormozi gives: There's my bouquet, and I've got this sad flower. This is a sad-face flower. If I handed my wife this bouquet, all of the roses would be perfect, except for this one that's just wilted and dead.
It looks a lot different, right? The bouquet, the brand, and the perception of it massively shifts even with one messed up flower. That one bad flower damages your perception of that entire bouquet.
Personal accounts vs. brand accounts
If you look at my account, you'll see men's style grooming and other related topics. So, if I were to start posting and promoting a kitchen product randomly, my audience would be confused, and honestly, the content probably wouldn't perform well. The same goes for me talking about a random kitchen appliance when I have no affinity for it on my social media. The same applies to brands whose misaligned content has nothing to do with the products or services that they provide to their target audience.
But the great thing about a personal brand is that I have the opportunity to pivot where necessary. It might not be easy, but I could probably do that if I wanted to switch my niche to kitchenware and cooking. As a brand, your company's message, logo, values, and social content must be aligned to correlate with the products sold or even build a community among your target audience.
Because it only makes sense, your misaligned messaging will completely confuse your target audience and create one, if not all, of the following impacts to your business:
a negative perception of your products and services,
confusion around what you're even offering, and
a hit to your sales
How influencers can help you test a new brand voice & tone
This is why partnering with the right influencers can be so important. You want to make sure that not only does the brand reflect the influencer, but also that the influencer reflects the brand. It's not just about selling a product, but about overall brand awareness. Brands need to figure out how their social strategy mimics the tone of their target audience.
They should allow influencers who are social media experts to help support the voice of the brand. Brands know what they sell and who their target audience is. There's a lot of strategy behind the scenes that goes into understanding their target demographic.
Influencers know social media. Paired together, you have an effective brand strategy and an effective tool for targeting and authentically speaking to your target audience. You just have to think about what is most important to you.
So, you really want to try unhinged content…
As a brand, when you're approaching your social strategy, one route is to take that unhinged, crazy social tone where you're trying to speak the language and talk the talk, which can be very risky.
That's difficult for a brand to achieve, even if they have an office full of Gen Z's. Brands can learn from creators. Influencers are very diligent about their social strategy, from the type of niche that their audience loves to engage with their audience in an authentic way.
And just like influencers, brands can also partner with them to test out something new, whether it's a new voice, aesthetic, or anything else, and get their products out there as a test.
That's an amazing way to do it and lean into it. Here at Fohr, we do a lot of test campaigns where we get brands to step outside of their comfort zone through influencers, which is absolutely amazing. Later on, they get to see, "Oh, wow, this actually worked. Let's do more just like this."
This is a way for brands to take risks while staying within their own lane. They've already done the work to create their own personal branding and have a tone and a very social-first outlook on how to market to their audiences.