Find a Voice

It’s been said that a little personality can go a long way. I think that’s true, and it really goes beyond just bringing in more customers. Sometimes, establishing a voice can lend credibility to your brand and turn the casual customer into a loyal customer.

Nowadays, nowhere can the voice of a business or a business owner be found expressed more clearly and succinctly than Twitter.

Of course Twitter is not the be-all-end all of public relations. In fact, it’s only a small tool in your arsenal. But it’s a great place to really let a little personality show through and do some things you just can’t with blogs and e-mail.

For example, the other day I stumbled upon the Twitter account of a small chain of drugs stores I occasionally visit. I spent a few minutes poking around the account, just to see what the person behind the Twitter feed was writing.

To be sure, there were a few announcements for specials and sales on beauty products and Snuggies, but perhaps more remarkably, most of the Twitter activity was between the store and different Twitter users. I read discussions and recommendations about local brands of honey, reactions to different articles users submit and just general conversation.

I’ve read a few marketing blogs that talk about separating the business from the person behind the computer, but I don’t think that the wall necessarily has to be so rigid. Especially with smaller businesses, the personality of the people who do business is what people associate with the brand.

Of course, building your brand and your company’s brand can be two very different things, but if you are a small business owner, your presence is much more prominent. So take advantage of it and have some fun!

It’s okay to let your personality come through a little bit. In fact, it makes your brand seem more human. Full disclosure: this is coming from a guy with a business that bears his own name! But it’s true—talking with your clients and potential customers can go a long in establishing legitimacy.

If the Twitter example is any indication, showing that you have a relationship with customers that goes beyond simply throwing ads in their faces can make the casual customer feel more comfortable with the decision to go with your brand, and make potential customers all the more interested.

But don’t limit yourself to Twitter. If you want to engage your customers and let your voice shine through, find more media outlets. Update your blog and let people know that you know what you are talking about. Do an interview with a local business journal or newsletter. Especially in the small business world, having a good story and having a voice shine through will help in establishing your name and your brand in the marketplace.