The novelty of interacting with brands on social media hasn’t really worn off yet. It’s still kind of a big deal, so take advantage of the attention by leveraging it for your brand.
One of the best ways to take advantage of social media for your business is by using it to humanize your brand. Communicate and connect with consumers in the fun, casual structure of your social media channels where it’s relatively safe to let your brand relax a bit.
Use these guidelines to start maximizing your social media participation and putting the human element back into your brand.
Put Some Faces to Your Name
Your brand doesn’t actually have a face, but the people who represent it do. Show the real, diverse faces of your brand to help the world identify and connect with your company. Think about who your consumers are and the kind of people they’d respect or care about. Show that.
Don’t focus on showing only employees that seem identical to your main buyer personas. That strategy can backfire fast. After all, if you’re offering a service that your buyers can’t do themselves, why would they expect a carbon copy of themselves to do it? That doesn’t mean you should stick to stereotypes, just be diverse, real and mindful of the image you’re projecting.
Shoot Lots of Video
What’s better than seeing the real faces of your brand? Seeing them in a video. An amateur video shot around your office using real people will show the mannerisms, flaws and quirks that combine to represent your humanity. There’s no more popular medium for humanizing brands than simple video shot on your iPhone, webcam or other readily-available equipment.
Talk Like a Real Person
We all know a real person is typing your brand’s tweets and status updates. So you don’t have anything to lose by actually sounding like a real person. Use the same language, pacing, emojis and little extras that you would as a real human.
Again, you still have to consider who you’re talking to. For instance, don’t use a million emojis and the vernacular of a recent college grad if your main buyer persona is elderly retirees. But in general, just being a down-to-earth human is enough to appeal to everyone.
Take a Side
It doesn’t have to be a controversial issue, but give your brand some opinions. Stir up a little controversy and start a conversation by standing up for something your brand believes in. How far you want to venture this rabbit hole is up to you, just make sure everyone is on board before you tackle a serious issue like politics.
Better yet, share the causes your brand supports like animal welfare, disease research and human services. It’s unlikely you’ll receive anything but support for taking the sides of sick people, kids or puppies in cages.
If you’re still too shy to show your support for a real cause, start the kind of silly side-taking brawl the internet is famous for, such as: ketchup versus mustard, morning versus night, dogs versus cats, summer versus winter, different pronunciations of common words– you get it.
Have fun shaking things up. Not only do opinions help to shape your brand’s personality, they can strike up an awesome opportunity to converse with your audience.
Show Real Emotion and Humor
Once you’ve gotten comfortable as a more humanized brand on social media, start digging deeper into humor, empathy, sympathy, humor, sarcasm, joy or even snark. By showcasing a range of complex reactions and emotions, you’re being more human, more relatable and more vulnerable Brands don’t really feel anything, but people do. So it’s easier for your consumers to see you as a trusted friend than just another company when they’re watching you experience emotions.