Be a Social Media Marketing Anti-Hero: A Guide for Small Businesses

Let’s face it. every small business is vying for attention on social media. You need to find a way to stand out. Consumers are long past tired of every brand trying to be the hero. It’s time to adopt the anti-hero mindset in your social media marketing. I said what I said. I want YOU to be your own anti-hero. But before you start envisioning yourself as the vigilante taking everyone down, let’s chat about what it looks like to be a social media marketing anti-hero.

What is an Anti-Hero?

An anti-hero is a central character in a story who lacks or dismisses stereotypical heroic attributes. They’re often flawed, gritty, and more relatable than your typical hero. Think Deadpool instead of Superman. They’re not perfect, they make mistakes, and that’s exactly why we love them. They’re real, they’re raw, and they’re authentic.

Why Do We Root for Anti-Heroes?

Anti-heroes show us it’s okay not to be perfect. They often reflect our own struggles and triumphs, making their stories more compelling and relatable. They’re underdogs who don’t always play by the rules, but their intentions are generally good. When social media shows us curated, perfected highlight reels, the anti-hero is a breath of fresh, if slightly rebellious, air, showing some of the lowlights on that reel.

Applying Anti-Heroism to Social Media Marketing

How does this translate to social media strategies for small businesses? Being a social media marketing anti-hero means you will:


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  • Embrace Authenticity: Just like an anti-hero, your brand should be unafraid to show its true colors. Share your challenges, your behind-the-scenes, and even your failures. This level of honesty creates a genuine connection with your audience. If you swear like a sailor on a pirate ship, including an appropriately and well chosen swear word in your social media will attract the right people. Or, if you’re Cassey from Classy Cards Creative, you create an entire business around your favourite cuss words.
  • Be Relatable: Anti-heroes are loved because they’re relatable. Your social media should speak to the everyday experiences and emotions of your audience. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being real.
  • Tell a Compelling Story: Every anti-hero has a story, and so should your brand. Use storytelling to share your journey, your values, and what sets you apart. This doesn’t just attract customers; it builds a community.
  • Stand for Something: Just like anti-heroes, who often have a cause they’re fighting for, your brand should have core values and a mission. This resonates with consumers who share those values and want to support businesses that are about more than just profits.
  • Encourage Disruption: Anti-heroes disrupt the status quo. Don’t be afraid to be innovative in your approach. Challenge industry norms and be a trendsetter in your field. Instead of having a Black Friday discount sale, try Katelyn Bourgoin’s “UnSale” instead and actually RAISE your prices.
'Anti-heroes are the most human because they make mistakes.' - Michael Rosenbaum Are you ready to #UnleashTheAntiHero in your social media marketing?Click To Tweet

We see hero marketing every damn day. Being an anti-hero can set your small business apart. It’s about being unapologetically yourself, embracing your uniqueness, and connecting with your audience on a deeper level. So, shed the cape, put on your metaphorical red leather jacket, and start rewriting the rules of social media marketing for your small business.

If being #Flawsome is accepting your flaws and doing the thing anyway, being an anti-hero is the next step. You’re not just accepting your imperfections, you’re FLAUNTING them for your own advantage.

Remember, when it comes to standing out on social media, sometimes it pays to be a little less Peeta and a little more Katniss. (Can you tell what I’ve been binge-watching?)


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