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The Guide To Alt Brand Accounts
Before we dive in…
New pod is live with Peter Shallard AKA “The Shrink for Entrepreneurs”. He’s the guy who coaches the world’s top founders and keeps them moving at blazing speed.
We talked about bootstrapping vs venture capital, and Peter even did a live coaching sessions with me. Super insightful convo.
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Okay, now let’s get into this week’s post!
Building a popular brand social media account is next to impossible these days.
Good news is that I’ve got a way to turn it into playing on “easy mode”. People (including me) are already using this strategy to generate millions of dollars and followers.
But bad news is it will require you to be a little more edgy.
Let me explain…
We all know the plot device of having an angel on one shoulder, and the devil on your other shoulder.
The angel is our moral compass. It tells us the right thing to do, the perfect thing to say, and the consequences of our actions.
The devil is our temptation. It reveals all of the things we want to do and say, with no filter or regard for others or the situation at hand.
On social media, 95% of brand accounts are stuck as angels. They stay inside their brand guidelines. They don’t push the limits or act controversial, in fear of a PR nightmare or misrepresenting the goodwill their business has built.
A local government service Twitter account is the ultimate example of an angel account. They only share the happenings around town, give public service announcements or pump out blog posts for visitors. They’re representing a municipality — no time for funny business.
Meanwhile, some brands use their social media in what I’ll sum up as… non-traditional ways. Planters and the Buffalo Bills are two great examples of companies all in on using Gen Z social trends, instead of brand-speak. They fully understand their audience and how they want to be spoken to.
More brands will start to use their social to act like the devil on their shoulder — full of memes, edgy comments, reply-guy tendencies and first-person perspective.
The cost of blending in on social media is just way too high nowadays, and smart brands have taken notice. A feed full of product announcements and ChatGPT-generated brand copy won’t cut it.
As my friend Jason Levin coined, memes make millions. They sure do.
Whether it’s your brand’s main account or a new anonymous one, here’s three components to creating a perfect alt account for your brand:
Your brand’s alt account doesn’t need to mention or associate with your main account at all. Here’s an example: What if the venture capital meme account @VCBrags was Sequoia Capital’s alt account?
Sequoia’s socials are dead serious — check their Twitter yourself. Could you imagine the firestorm Sequoia would enter if they retweeted an @VCBrags tweet making fun of a competitor? But if anyone found out Sequoia’s team was behind the account in the first place, they’d walk into a world of high-fives, no-ways, and OMGs.
Taco Bell doesn’t speak in first person on social. Their social media manager doesn’t attach her name to every tweet. It’s the brand account — we don’t care or need to know the individual person behind the brand’s content.
Brand accounts use “we.”
Alt brand accounts can use “I.”
We do this with @BoringMarketer. Instead of positioning BoringMarketing.com like a brand, we consciously tweet, reply, and thread like a person. The company exists on social media as one person giving their unfiltered thoughts on SEO and growth marketing.
Speaking of which…
The most important component of a successful alt-brand account is that it is completely honest. It’s the unconscious thoughts and feelings around what your brand truly stands for.
@BoringMarketer’s bio reads:
"Boring” marketing advice that brings you profit. Anonymous so I can be 100% honest.
Sidenote: if you aren’t using boring ways to find customers like SEO, speak to the Boring team here. They’ve been able to help so many companies rank high for keywords to bring profitable customers. Ask them about their “SEO audit” on the call.
When your alt account is explicit about its feelings, you position your brand in a way to find the exact audience you’re looking for.
How would you turn your brand into an alt account? What are your fav alt accounts? Let me know below on Twitter, I see all replies.
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