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May 30, 2013 — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has stated that his mission is to usher in a new era of openness and transparency. He envisions a world where our truths are out there and connected to millions of others through the magic of digital

communication. But while Zuckerberg certainly created more avenues for sharing

our innermost thoughts and activities, he did not anticipate the response:

controlled openness.

Just as marketers develop custom social media profiles for their clients, so too do we as consumers utilize these channels in distinct ways — our audience on LinkedIn may not be the same audience as on Twitter or one’s blog readership.

This digital version of you, or your Digi-Style, is your tailor-made social thumbprint — an attempt to make the universal individual. And it is growing; the trend of custom digital personas has now extended to beyond the grave.

Recent discussions have emerged surrounding the existence of one’s Facebook page after death and how Facebook can become a virtual cemetery. From creating posthumous messages to allowing loved ones to turn the page into a memorial, the level of identity construction is well-managed.

What this means for marketers is that if we have varying personas in multiple channels, then perhaps brands should too. Through focusing on how each social network serves its users and the role each network plays for each user, we can reach individuals in highly personalized ways with a custom message that speaks to the distinct individuals within any given channel. From consumer manipulation of their own “brand” to actual brands seeking to connect more meaningfully with their advocates, social is no longer one size fits all.

Anna Sowa About the Author
Anna Sowa Former Account Director

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