What Would Yoda Do? How to master brand authority on social media.

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AUTHORITY is such a strong word. Especially in all caps. But all jokes aside, establishing authority is a big achievement as a brand. Beyond the role of influencer, authority represents expertise and the ultimate source for consumers to turn to when they have a need.

I don’t mean authority as a bossy pants that gives orders and wants total market domination.

I mean authority as a branding Yoda, so to speak, that has all the answers – where audiences seek you out to address concerns and drive their motivations.

So what would Yoda do? Here are pages from the Jedi’s book on how to establish your brand as an authority on social media:

Credibility

You have to prove you are a Jedi Master. State your points of difference and reasons for consumers to believe. Develop content that shares how you stand out from competitors, your unique solution, and a proven area of expertise.

Are you the most trusted brand by professionals? Have you been in the business for over a decade? Was your brand a pioneer or innovator in the industry?

You can even use user-generated content and reviews to help you get your message across. Sometimes people are skeptical of brands but will get on board if it’s backed by peers with similar needs.

Authenticity

Yoda serves with integrity, above all else.

According to a study by the PR agency Cohn & Wolfe, “89 percent of customers expect companies to act with integrity at all times.”

Branding on social media should have purpose and meaning, not just a sales push. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them. And you need to make connections through transparency and trustworthiness.

The same Cohn & Wolf study also found that “Consumers rate brand authenticity very highly” and “it turns out that what consumers most want from brands is honest communication about products and services.”

Millennials, which make up one of the largest demographics of social media users want engaging and unique content that speaks to their core values.

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Credit: VisionCritical.com

Confidence

As you know brands have a personality and yours should exude a strong presence. While taking stands on social injustice or having a voice on relevant issues could be risky, it’s what sets the amateurs apart from the competition. To be an authority, you have to take action rather than a passive approach to content and messaging. Take Nike, for example. They proved that people want their brands to be a voice for them.

But confidence is a fine line – you must be respectful and do your research before you can be that bold voice against the forces of evil. Yoda always stayed on the right side of the force – achieving balance.

Not ready to ride the activism bandwagon? No problem, you can create an image of confidence and strength just by voice using tone and language. As a SkyWord article points out, “By taking an enthusiastic approach to a rather matter-of-fact sentiment, ‘We apologize, but we are experiencing a problem’ can become ‘Oops! We’re sorry, but we’re experiencing a problem on our end.’”

Patience

Which leads me to the last Yoda-inspired takeaway: Practice patience Young Padawan…

Becoming an authority like Oprah doesn’t happen overnight and you have to build your way to credibility, trust, loyalty, and confidence among audiences first. The way you do it is by training and strategy – which means practicing consistency, assessing what pieces of content work and what doesn’t, and shifting as needed. And then there is the element of surprise waiting for the right moment to launch a campaign. It takes research and strategy to fully develop lasting and impactful content that resonates with people. Timing is everything when it comes to launching the perfect social media campaign, it’s the alignment of audience needs, social trends, and market relevancy.

In the famous words of Yoda “Do or do not. There is no try.” Meaning that you need to commit and that trying gets you nowhere. Social media can be cutthroat and is always evolving, but you have to put your brand out there with content that establishes credibility, integrity, and confidence when it comes to your industry. You’ll find that in time you will gain loyalty and hopefully draw consumers to look to you as a wise and badass brand.

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