5 Ways to Humanise Your Brand on Social Media
The internet was created by humans, is run by humans and is of course used by humans, so it hard to understand why so many brands still lack a human touch when it comes to their social media.
Using automated tools is much quicker when it comes to sending out posts and following influencers, but at the end of the day, if you want the public to connect with you, they need to know who they are connecting with.
Social media is now a vital part of any brand’s marketing strategy, not just because it provides a wide array of networks to reach out through, or because it is now the most common internet activity, but because it gives brands a chance to humanise themselves and reveal not only a digital presence, but also a digital personality.
While creating strategies and tactics to get the most out of your social media is important, the key to building relationships with your audience is to bring a strong human element to everything you do.
Bryan Kramer recently created the notion of H2H in his presentation “There Is No More B2B or B2C: There Is Only Human to Human (H2H)” and he is completely right. Now more than ever brands need to focus on making sure they add a human element to their marketing efforts.
The first step to showing the human behind the brand is to talk to your fans and followers. Don’t simply spend the day promoting your products and services, because no one will be interested.
Talk to your audience and make as much effort as possible to reply to all social media mentions you receive, no matter how many you get. A great example of this is Qantas, who make the effort to reply to every single mention sent to their @QantasAirways account, regardless of how trivial they may seem:
If you are a large brand with a range of different staff members looking after your social media, then encourage them to personalise their messages and sign off tweets with their initials or name. Xbox do a great job of this as they always have a variety of people working on their Twitter at the same time.
People love to feel like they know someone, and by putting a name, or just some initials, to an account, it will give them a better connection with the person they are speaking to. If you walk into a shop and need to ask a question, the person you talk to will most likely have a name badge on so that you know you are talking to and can refer back to that person should you ever need to.
Listen and Engage
You don’t have to wait for the conversation to come to you, take the conversation out of your brand’s comfort zone. If you were at a party you wouldn’t just stand in the corner waiting for someone to talk to you, you would approach people and see how they are doing.
With numerous keyword searches and trends taking place, it is easy enough to find out what other people are talking about and join in. Find out what interests your target audience have and engage them on the topic – this will show that you are making an effort to build a good relationship with them on their turf.
Listening to the conversations taking place around you on social media will also help you to tailor your content to what your audience want to read, showing you care about their interests and aren’t just promoting content relevant to your own products and services.
It’s one thing creating a conversation, but as a brand it can be easy to get carried away with responding to all messages in the safest way possible. This doesn’t help though when it comes to humanising your brand and is most likely to make you seem even more robotic.
Your tone of voice and writing style play a big part when it comes to building relationships with your audience. By adding a voice to your brand you are building a bigger picture of the human behind the brand and showing a more personal side to your audience.
It isn’t an easy thing to do, especially when you only have a small amount of characters to do it in, but after a few weeks of speaking through your social media accounts like a real person it will start to come naturally. Tescos have a very personable account and are always talking to people in their own tone of voice:
Ditch the Robots
It is understandable that using robots to automate their tweets, follow relevant people and send thank you messages can be an attractive option to some brands, but in reality it just shows very little effort and no personality at all.
If you don’t have time to thank every single person who follows you then don’t, they will soon see from your Twitter account that you are human and that if they have any questions that you will be there to answer them.
If you can’t always think of something new to say that will engage your audience, then trying injecting a bit of humour into your messages – this works well in capturing your audience’s attention, and they may even retweet or share your message too.
Some brands have made the news for their comedic efforts and in some cases brands have bounced off each other to generate a bigger effect. Remember though, it is important to only use humour where appropriate and not over do it, otherwise you may stop being taken seriously.
It’s in the name; social media is about being “social”. There is no excuse for brands to use robots and automation across their social media channels. Injecting a human element into a brand’s social media strategy will not only strengthen the overall branding, but also help to establish a good personal connection with a target audience.