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For businesses social media success depends upon many factors, one of which is finding the appropriate voice and tone of postings. This may be one of the most difficult aspects to get right, especially if several different people are managing social accounts. A relatively easy and straightforward approach would be to choose a celebrity that accurately reflects your brand and your audience.

If your company had an unlimited marketing budget, which celebrity or celebrities would you choose to endorse your company or products? Whether you are new to social media or you were early adapters in identifying your Celebrity Social Spirit Animal (CSSA) this is a very useful tactic to reach a larger audience online. You can create a more successful brand without spending the big bucks. Here are the steps in identifying, emulating, and executing your new marketing strategy with your CSSA.

CSSA done right.

For the purpose of this column let’s examine the example of Jennifer Aniston for Aveeno. In this video,it is quite evident why Aveeno chose Aniston.

FRIENDS was a popular TV show when it aired and remains so now while in syndication. Part of its success was due to the likeability of Jennifer Aniston. Many women of a certain age related to her character, and even sported “the Rachel” hairdo during the late 90’s. Twenty years after FRIENDS first aired Aniston is still a celebrity that many women want to emulate.

Aveeno sells products ranging from everyday body creams to natural-looking cosmetics. Their name is itself is a nod to the scientific name for “oat”, and you can’t get much earthier than that. Who better than the pilates-loving, transcendental-meditating, holistic goddess Jennifer Aniston to be their brand ambassador? For Aveeno, it looks like they found the perfect fit.

Another example is the commercial that Kia Motors ran during the 2015 Superbowl featuring none other than James Bond himself, Pierce Brosnan.  In a clever switch, Brosnan was driving through snowy mountain roads to get to the girl instead of encountering evil agents and deadly obstacles.

Kia makes reliable vehicles that many associate with family cars, but they definitely wanted to punch up the element of cool around their brand. Pierce Brosnan’s appearance in this ad helped show that safe, family cars could be seen as sexy, while marketing their Sorento model, an affordable crossover, to an older demographic.

Some of the characteristics that could be used for a successful CSSA model would be that Brosnan is an icon of the baby boomer generation, active, travel-savvy and young at heart. These are the qualities that would both make him relatable to consumers and also entice others to feel closer to that lifestyle if they followed his lead.

David Beckham is primarily known for two things. To sports-minded people he’s known for being one of the best soccer players in recent history. For GenX or Early Millennials he is the husband of a Spice Girl. However you know him, Beckham has been working with H&M  for some time now. Most of the time he’s only wearing his skivvies, – or less. Still, he is the epitome of the cool, athletic risk-taker. His CSSA model could be described as appealing to men in their 20’s to mid 30’s, fashion forward, health conscious and unconventional.

It’s not about you. It’s about your audience.

When determining your CSSA, you need to be realistic and honest. To be sure, everyone would love for Beyonce to endorse their products or company. But would she actually be appropriate to create awareness for your brand and relate to your customers, or just provide a momentary flash in the pan? Another consideration is that Beyonce is so popular that she would represent a market a bit too broad to cater to, making it very difficult to find the right voice. In identifying the right celebrity or celebrities you need to deeply understand your target audience.

First identify the basic demographics of your average customer such as age, gender and income level. Then examine lifestyles and aspirations of your audience. Are they young parents, empty nesters or urban sophisticates? Do they crave adventure or comfort? Are they fashionistas, health-conscious, family oriented? What is your unique selling proposition (USP) that makes people become customers?

If you still lack ideas for a CSSA, research keywords, or hashtags, that you believe your customers will relate to. Words like yoga, comedy, spirituality, healthy living, elegance, fashion forward and gourmet can lead directly to the celebrity personality that embodies the appropriate image.

Put Your CSSA to Work for You.

You have your celebrity. Now it’s time to integrate him or her into your social media efforts. Always be consistent with your voice. Make sure your written posts reflect the characteristics of your CSSA, and curated content would be something that he or she would find interesting, too.

Even your visual marketing needs to reflect the personality of your celebrity. Make sure photos, videos and memes are consistent with the brand personality of your CSSA. If you use professional models in your marketing, it would be optimal if they actually looked like your celebrity, but they should at least embody the characteristics you chose the celebrity for in the first place.

Use your keywords and hastags to prospect for new customers. Having a CSSA makes it simple. On Facebook you can search for “People who like Jennifer Aniston” and have a great target market for your ads.


Who would you chose as your company’s Celebrity Social Spirit Animal, and why?