• Successful social media is all about building relationships of trust with the online community that you serve. First, you want to be crystal clear about who is in that community. We call this defining your avatar.

    In Hinduism, an avatar is defined as “a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher” (which to be honest, is a definition I truly love) but in computing terms an avatar is “an icon or figure representing a particular person in computer games, Internet forums, etc.”. So if you are a gamer, you will have a personal avatar.

    In the marketing game, though, we are after your ideal avatar, defining the qualities, characteristics, traits, demographics and interests of a single person that might represent your target market or ideal community online.

    You will build your brand by focusing consistently on great content that resonates and connects with your community. This sentence alone gives you what you need to know about creating great content. It captures the three pillars of branding: Focus, consistency and resonance.

    First, focus. What does your brand stand for? What is it that you (or your product or service) is known for? What is it you aspire to be known for? What is your ‘purpose’?

    Clearly answering these questions defines the conversation that will take place about your brand. Keep your content focused on the areas you want to be known for.

    Once you’ve defined your brand, keep your content consistent in voice, message, and look and feel across all touch points (anywhere people interact with your brand). Consistency is the second pillar and it applies to timing and predictability as well. Post regularly and at the times it makes sense for the community you serve.

    Based on your definition of your avatar or ideal customer or client, ask yourself: What will resonate with them? In order to truly connect with your online community you must find the signal that will cut through all the distraction and digital noise on the internet.

    To be valuable to your tribe, your product, service or message needs to do one of three things: solve their problem, relieve their pain, or empower their dream. Spend some time thinking about the pain points, problems and dreams of the people you serve. What is your avatar longing for?

    Great content comes from focusing on the needs of your clients and making an emotional connection with them that has meaning and value.

    If you can do this, you will create resonance and that is the third pillar. When your client’s needs match your product or service, and when their dream aligns with your purpose, then bingo! Your content and message will connect, and you’ve hit the sweet spot.

    Vicki  is a Maple Ridge Social Chick, a social media columnist for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times (where this article first appeared) and a business and personal coach and consultant. She is the author of #Untrending: A Field Guide to Social Media That Matters and will join Christina Crook as a speaker at the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference in 2016. She is happy to answer your social media or business questions. Find out about her personal and business coaching at www.vickimcleod.com.