Integrating Brand Characters Into Your Twitter Strategy

By Kate van Geldern Translating strong brand personas in social media can be a challenge. However, many brands have an image that’s rooted in the recognition of cartoons and characters. Ignoring these personas in social channels would be a major departure from the brand's offline communication. Let's examine four iconic brands that have implemented successful brand personas via social media.

Are rooted in an offline branding effort. Successful brand persona on Twitter are typically built of off characters that already have fan recognition offline. Characters like Cap’n Crunch, and The Jolly Green Giant have twitter personas that tie into the history of their respective brand and build on the nostalgia of or familiarity with the character. Content continually ties into elements of the character that the audience already knows about from seeing them on TV, on product packages, and in print.  The familiarity with the characters allows brands to promote products without sounding like a sales-pitch, like in this Green Giant tweet: “I just cooked you / and you were tasty / and nicely seasoned / so steam me maybe? #veggieremix.”

Leave the customer service to the brand handle. Flo (@ItsFlo) from Progressive has a playful, friendly, quirky personality on Twitter – just like Flo from the commercials. The handle promotes Progressive media and services, while mixing in character tweets (i.e. “Tadpoles are weird. #JustSayin.”). What Flo doesn’t do is tackle customer inquiries and problems directly -- @Progressive handles the customer complaints. Separating the customer service issues from the brand persona allows Flo to remain a brand-focused asset for the Progressive presence on Twitter.

Build a robust personality experience.  The Geico Gecko (@TheGEICOGecko), for example, tweets just as a normal person might, with his unique perspective on things. The brand goes the extra mile to create images taken from a gecko’s perspective with him playfully inserted in to different humorous scenarios. The addition of multimedia to the handle gives the Gecko a more developed and realistic persona.

What are your favorite brand personas in social media? Does your company market through social channels with a character or cartoon?