How to Connect With Your Followers by Humanizing Your Brand on Social Media

Today now more than ever, our society has access to unlimited information to help us decide whether we choose to do business with an organization and what opinion we have of them based on the content we come across. It may sound like common sense headed into 2016 that your organization needs to be "authentic" and "genuine" as it relates to your organization's social media, marketing, and leadership. But let's be honest, you can't fake authenticity. It comes down to what I wrote about last month on social care (emphasis on the word care). You can have the best content but if your organization doesn't care on all levels and through all mediums you will never create a true relationship with your customers (fans, employees, students, etc). 

A recent study by Marketing Land found that brands that respond and engage in a timely manner (1 hour or less) found that 47% of respondents will recommend your brand and 34% are more likely to buy. To put this in context, imagine if you reached out to someone face to face or over the phone, wouldn't you expect them to respond?

How about if you have an established relationship with that person? 

What if you were reaching out with an important question or a complaint?

Everyday I come across social media accounts that have one way communication with their followers and 80% or more of the content is "push" marketing material (I.e. register, buy, check out, share my, etc.).

If being authentic, genuine and transparency are buzz words thrown around your organization, can you confidently say that you are implementing these tactics and listening in real time? 

If your organization isn't humanizing your brand you are missing out on connecting with your followers on a deeper level.

The tips and infographic below will get you started.


1. Set a North Star for your brand's digital voice:

Unless you are a solopreneur, your company has more than one person with the ability to tell the story (more on that in an upcoming post). So, regardless if your intern, marketing manager, or founder is posting to your social media accounts (especially Twitter or Instagram) challenge you and your team to spend at minimum a 30-60 minutes in a meeting with everyone in the room mapping out and depicting the human characteristics, personality, voice, that you want your digital brand to resemble. This will help when it comes time for other's create content or post on your accounts, they will have a persona and voice in mind that matches your brand. 

2. Express emotion:

You may be asking yourself, how do we express human emotion in less than 100 characters? Here are three ideas: use emojis, gifs, and creative hashtags.

Example: 

 ACPA's President, Gavin Henning posting his stylish look on a day he took over their instagram account. He went with #sockgame that not only is a popular tag but also showed his personality. 

ACPA's President, Gavin Henning posting his stylish look on a day he took over their instagram account. He went with #sockgame that not only is a popular tag but also showed his personality. 

3. Show your passion:

Your organization exists for a reason and if you or your employees (or volunteers) believe in it's mission, then showing your passion on a daily basis will help humanize your brand. Show the excitement of your office, the hard work, behind the scenes of preparing for an event or launch, and showcase the people and their personalities behind the greater cause of your business.

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Look at these tips as baby-steps and an easy way to experiment. There is so much noise on social media that it is better to try and see what sticks rather than over-thinking. If your content comes up short you can always delete it or within a few hours posts something else. Just keep trying to find your social media "sweet spot" and cadence by actually putting yourself out there. 

If you like this tip or it may help someone else you know, please share it. 

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As always thanks for reading and for your attention.