There are so many myths out there about social media marketing and theres specifically one that I see brands still follow – speaking in a corporate/robotic language.
Maybe in traditional marketing tactics it worked, but not when it comes to social media. It’s 2015! Social media is an online space where humans connect with other humans. Your twitter followers are humans. Your Facebook fans are humans. An email came from another human. Your employees are human and so are your customers. So why are you talking to them as if you’re talking to a robot? People want to talk to other people! They want to build relationships, hear and see you, understand you and get inspired from you!
Do you think you can get away with not humanizing your brand? Think again. It has now become a requirement and it is no longer an option if you want your brand to survive. I thought these were really important pointers so here it is – 8 tips to humanize your brand!
1. You’re a human. So think like one!
Focus on building relationships between your brand and your audience. Creating and actively engaging in conversations will show that you actually took the time to read someone else’s tweet or Instagram comment. Don’t just spit out your content and expect people to react. Think about it like this, when you walk into a clothing store, and an employee immediately approaches you and harasses you with all the sales that are going on, 9/10 people will get turned off. But if that sales person said, “How are you today?” or “Great top, where’s it from?” or “You’re little one is so cute!” it shows emotion, and us humans have a sense of emotion.
2. Have personality!
After you’ve studied, digested and learned your brand or the business you work for, you should know the voices and tones within that brand. Who or what are you? Are you professional? Are you fun or funny? Are you sporty? Are you bubbly or serious? Having a personality will let your audience know that you’re not just another automatic/robotic company that wants them to make a purchase. To the businesses that want to make money, great, but people already know that. It’s time to show them that you want relationships with them too.
3. Talk like your customers!
Use the same language your customers use. Does your audience include athletes, fathers, gamers, teenagers, fashionistas, watch lovers or crazy cat ladies? How do they talk? Do teenagers use different words than a 45 year old father would? I hope you answered yes. Speak in a tone that your social community can understand.
4. Show up!
Nothing frustrates me more when I see brands build relationships with people and are actively engaging on social media one day, and the next day they don’t. Be available at ALL times! Don’t show up just to spit out content regarding something your selling. Listen, engage and respond to everyone! I know it’s a lot of work to constantly be on the look out but be available no matter what.
5. There’s nothing wrong with being the new kid in school!
Don’t act like your perfect because you’re not – and that is OKAY! There’s nothing wrong with admitting it’s your first time on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn. Just because you’re new at something does not mean your audience will turn away. Instead, they’ll probably give you some tips themselves on how to work with a certain social media. Share your story as you learn it. If you take your audience through the ride, they will celebrate with you! They will be emotionally invested in your success without you even knowing it.
6. Being human means you have emotion!
Much like tip #1, don’t be so dull in your posts. That’s super boring, robotic and will turn your customers away. What exactly would they have to connect with? Another point, stop the auto direct messages! I get at least 20 auto DM’s a day and let me tell you something, I – and I’m sure I can talk on other people’s behalf – DONT READ THEM! Thanks for showing me how lazy and dehumanized you or your brands is. I wrote a blog post about the pro’s and con’s of auto DM’s and the more I think about it, there are no pro’s anymore. Instead, make me laugh, make me cry (happy tears) or inspire me! Tell me something I didn’t know. Motivate and push me. The more you do this, the more you connect and build relationships and the more you’ll understand what emotional chords work with your audience.
7. Show off your space!
This is super important, well, in my eyes. It demonstrate that, yes, there is indeed a human behind those tweets and Google+ posts. Snap pictures of your work environment, whether it be your office space, the kitchen, wall decor throughout your work environment, etc. I think this is such an easy way to show how your brand is made up of humans. It could even encourage some of your audience members to show of their space too.
8. Encourage your employees to be social!
Push them to join social so further build relationships on their behalf and on your brands behalf. This will strengthen any current relationships the brand has as well. Think about traditional relationships that start offline – they are between one human to another, one sales rep to a business leader and one executive to another. Social media is no different. Invest in your team and train them to be successful when engaging online. Encourage them to share moments, photos, events, walk/hikes, parties, etc to the social world!
Follow those steps and boom! You now have a more humanized brand. If you have already been through this process and became a social business with humanization at the core, what other tips can you provide and that you think are important? I’d love to hear your thoughts!