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Man, there’s some crazy marketing on the Internet. Twitter accounts that act the way I do online after hours and Instagram accounts that are 100% memes—it’s enough to make your head spin!

But what if I told you there was a method to all this madness? After Wendy’s sassy Twitter persona challenged a teenager from Reno, NE, to get 18 million retweets in exchange for a year’s worth of their chicken nuggets, their Twitter page saw 330 million impressions and gained 149,000 followers. Don Draper wouldn’t even know what hit him.

“Feel” Your Demographic

Now I’m not saying you should emulate Wendy’s, or that you even necessarily have to be funny in your marketing strategies, but a fast food giant such as them saw the potential and understood they’d do their best by engaging with millennials, and it worked.

The thing is, stuff like Wendy’s tweets will go over a lot of people’s heads, particularly those who don’t “get” Internet humor (like older folks [cough]). With your own business, you’ll want to analyze sales and really feel out who your demographic is before even drafting any copy. This is important because if you don’t even have basic info like the general age or gender of your customers, you risk isolating them with any marketing you do.

If you already have social media pages set up for your shop, take a look at the current following you have. Feel free to snoop through their pages and see what they’re posting and who they’re following. Demographics goes hand in hand with personality, so once you get a feel for who your customers really are, you’ll be able to effortlessly capture their attention with the content of your posts.

Be Yourself

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“Whaaaat?” you may be saying. “But isn’t everyone fake on the Internet?” Listen, the only person who’s fake on the Internet is my cat, and that’s because I run an Instagram account and post for her. Believe it or not, being your authentic self is better than creating a new personality to adapt to your brand. Even with Wendy’s social media, whose persona is built around a fictional red-haired mascot, is authentic because the humor’s real. It isn’t schlocky, it isn’t forced, and it certainly doesn’t bend to the norms of fast food advertising—or attempts to copy others and fails.

It starts with the small things. If you utilize Instagram and rely on visuals, adding a personal spin to your captions still works wonders, and using the same voice that you use with personal posts will make you sound real, not like some random marketer trying to sell a product. Yes, you still are trying to sell a product, but you also want to sound real too. Ever seen a commercial where it’s supposed to be two friends just talking, but then they break all depth of realism and talk a little too specifically about how great a product is? You don’t want to be like that.


I have such a love-hate relationship with hashtags. On one hand, they’re a beautiful tool in helping new people discover your content, and on the other, sometimes they’re 90% of a post and destroy all remaining remnants its authenticity. Sticking to a tried-and-true handful of relevant hashtags will open the door to new customers while also keeping you on target. How embarrassing would it be if you had amazing copy and then ruined it with a bajillion hashtags?

I love these boots for fall! They go great with most of my wardrobe and they are oh-so comfy.

#boots #booties #shoes #fallboots #fallshoes #fashion #fall #seasons #comfortablyshoes #comfyshoes #comfyboots #comfybooties #comfortablebooties #comfy #comfort #wardrobe #fallwardrobe #trend #trends #trendsetter #style #styles #stylist #styling #vogue #clothes #clothing #chic #couture #vintage #vintageclothing #vintageshoes #vintageboots #designer #designers #streetstyle #outfitoftheday #ootd #lookoftheday #whatiwore #fashionblogger #hautecouture #outfitpost #outfitinspiration

(I spent way too much time on this, but I think it’s important you get the idea.)

While you definitely will get people to look at your store’s social media page by using a lot of hashtags, throwing caution to the wind and not narrowing it down to the ones that really represent your brand will result in what I call flakers—people who follow you based on a hashtag and then shortly unfollow you because you’re not what they’re expecting.

Be Inspiring + Inspired

As SumAll’s content creator, I can be the first to tell you churning out social media and marketing posts is no picnic, but there are also times (a lot of the time!) when I really get into a post and have fun with it. For example, I’m really proud of this post:

The big secret to marketing is getting passionate about what you’re producing and having fun with it. If you’re not actively enjoying what you’re doing, then what’s the point? Social media marketing is way less challenging when you’re inspired to create what you’re posting. It’ll also be obvious to your followers, because as we all know, creativity and ingenuity is always original—and much like Wendy’s, with whom we can all tell there’s a never-ending funnel of excitement and opportunity, getting inspired is way more fun when you have a receptive audience like your followers.

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