When I began freelancing online 10 years ago, many people treated the Internet as a place where they could create any persona. I’ve always been pretty straightforward about who I am, and I’ve used my byline almost from the beginning.
That hasn’t always been the case for online writers and others, though. Many bloggers and business people started out by trying to hide who they are online, mainly due to privacy issues or because they don’t want to be fired from day jobs.
As the Internet has become a greater part of life and as many online personalities want to move forward with recognition, though, I’ve watched anonymous and pseudo-anonymous online business people reveal themselves to the world — and many of them are the same as they’ve always been.
In any online marketing campaign, it’s important to be consistent. When many of my blogger friends stopped using pseudonyms, they were still recognizable because their online personas matched their “real” personalities. As company, that kind of consistency is needed online and offline.
Are You Recognizable?
One of the best reasons to be consistent in your online marketing is the recognizability factor. When people look for you across social media, do they know what they are looking at? When you set up social media profiles, use the same avatars and descriptions. Be consistent in your keywords. Adopt a tone for your profiles. It needs to be obvious when people visit your social media profiles that they have found you. Consistency helps your customers and clients reliably identify you and know what to expect from online interactions.
Messaging Across Platforms
Don’t forget to coordinate messaging across platforms. This isn’t just about saying the same thing on each social media channel. You don’t want to just copy and paste everything to every channel. Instead, it’s important to carefully consider your social media marketing and message so you can tailor it to your audiences.
However, just because you are tailoring your message to each audience on each social media channel doesn’t mean you can’t be consistent. You can still adopt a consistent tone and style for your messaging, as well as ensure that the substance is consistent. This consistency shows that you understand the needs of your customers and that meet them where they are.
Consistency in the “Real” World
Don’t forget that your online marketing needs to be consistent with who you are in the “real” world. The days of adopting one persona online and another offline are just about over. Customers want to know that you are consistent with who you are online and offline, whether you are a multi-national corporation or a solopreneur (or anything in between).
People become upset when they think that you’re trying to fool them online. When they interact with you offline, they want their experience to be consistent with the way they know you online. As a result, it’s important that you “be yourself” online, rather than just a persona. Otherwise, you might run into problems when you are encountered offline.
Before you begin your online marketing campaign, take a few minutes to think about who you are as a brand, and what you want to accomplish. As you create your plan, make sure that you project consistency so that your customers and others feel comfortable with who you are and what you do.