By Jillian Stanphill, Business Writer

Social media is no longer about the individual. Companies, conglomerates and corporations are starting to realize the impact their social media accounts can have on profits and marketing reach.

These businesses can hire public relations personnel to utilize these social media accounts as free sources of advertisements.

Most companies use straightforward materials and a professional tone, but a new trend is catching on among a wide variety of businesses — a personality for their accounts.

Just like a celebrity account, businesses are attracting customers by establishing a unique personality for their social media.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all prominent business tools that can be incorporated into a strong marketing campaign.

Facebook seems to be plateauing in popularity, especially with newer social media sources captivating younger users.

Instagram recently surpassed Twitter as the most popular social media site for smartphone users, according to CNBC.

Since then, Twitter has released a multiple photo sharing feature — up to four images — for its smart phone application, as well as photo tagging.

Many companies have used these new features for Twitter, but it is too early to tell whether they are positively or negatively affecting those businesses.Twitter is only second in popularity to Instagram, and not far behind.

Twitter allows for retweets, favorites and replies, which allows a brand or business to directly address an individual customer.

Taco Bell (@TacoBell) is a great example of consistent tone and humor. It aims to be funny and keep a steady stream of tweets that follow a ‘personality’ of the company.

It also retweets and replies frequently when it is directly tweeted at, which engages the consumer.

Snapchat has come into play as a marketing medium, and you can add TacoBell on Snapchat to learn what the new flavor of Doritos Locos Tacos will be.

General Electric (@generalelectric) still has a professional tone and avoids humor, but it uses a different technique to engage attention.

It has created a Vine profile that encourages individuals to recreate science experiments. General Electric re-posts the best ones.

This creates a sense of personal worth for the consumer along with a commitment to the company.

As new marketing tools become available, it is important for a company to utilize the possibilities and keep a consistent identity for the business.

Misused social media can be damaging to a company’s reputation, but the opposite is also true. Social media has the potential to become the most used and most effective advertising technique as technology advances.


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