HumanizeYourBrand

When’s the last time you invested in a conversation with someone you didn’t know, wouldn’t tell you their name, and that you couldn’t look in the eye?

I’ll go out on a limb and guess that you’ve never done this, or if you have, it’s been a terrible experience. Beyond the obvious reasons why you wouldn’t engage with someone under these circumstances, another reason why you’ve likely never had this experience is that people tend to have better judgment than to try to engage you without providing you with context about who they are, and what they are all about.

Why then, is this commonly practiced in social media marketing?

Profiles with no name, picture, or mention of a human being. Content that is created with the sterility of a surgeon’s table. And an almost concerted effort to hide the faintest hint of a heartbeat. These are all characteristics I see far too often from businesses and organizations on social media.

So, with this said, what can be done about it? The good news is that there are a few quick and easy ways to give your business a pulse, make it easier and less intimidating for your consumers to engage with you, and ultimately improve your social media presence.

Following are 5 simple adjustments you can make to humanize your organization on social media, today:

TELL PEOPLE YOUR NAME

Go ahead and tell your consumers what your name is so they know who they’re talking to on social media, and who they should address if they’d like to engage with you. You can include your name in your profile, about section, biography page, in status updates, by signing off as yourself, or any number of ways.

SHOW PEOPLE YOUR FACE

Your organization’s logo is probably brilliantly designed and will stand the test of time, but the problem with this being your profile picture is that it doesn’t allow people to see who they are engaging with. Consider featuring yourself in your profile picture, or including a picture of yourself on your ‘about’ page.

TAKE OWNERSHIP OF YOUR CONTENT

Whether you are writing a tweet, or lengthy blog post, don’t shy away from writing in the first person. Your organization doesn’t think anything, or actually feel any particular way, it is the people in your organization that do. Your content will be more personal, meaningful and impactful to your consumers if you take full ownership of your content, and expose at least a little bit of your personality within.

WRITE WITH VOICE & PERSONALITY

In most cases, content written with a voice and personality will resonate much more strongly with readers than content that is not. It’s nice to read a piece of writing and feel as though you can hear the author’s voice as you progress. If you can do this, I think you’ll find more people who are willing to stick it out through longer format content, and will be more likely to further the conversation you’ve started by way of commenting, asking a question, or adding their two cents.

DON’T WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOU

Be proactive about building relationships with people. Don’t sit back, post your content, and hope that someone, somewhere might have a comment to share. Put yourself, and your brand out there and comment on other people’s content, share interesting things that they’re posting, be encouraging to those you admire, thank someone for teaching you something, contact someone on social media who you met in real life, and on, and on. If you’re the shy person sitting in the corner of the room, people will be less likely to be drawn to you; you’ve got to put yourself out there, at least a bit.

These are just a few thought-starters for how you can humanize your brand and social media presence. You don’t necessarily need to do all of these things to be successful, but if you’re doing nothing to let your consumers really get to know who you are, I think you’ll find it difficult to build, nurture and sustain long-term relationships on social media.

All of this said, there are cases where less of this is required. For instance, there are revered brands that can get away with not being overly personal, because they’ve so firmly established their essence, what they stand for, and have a dedicated consumer base who can so strongly identify with them, that speaking a little more broadly from the brand works well.

How do you showcase the human side of your organization on social media?

How do you build relationships with people through social platforms?

It would be great to hear what you think in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. [...] When’s the last time you invested in a conversation with someone you didn’t know, wouldn’t tell you their name, and that you couldn’t look in the eye? I’ll go out on a limb and guess that you’ve ne…  [...]

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  2. Can totally relate to the 5 points you’ve mentioned here. Since the time I started writing for my blog, I’ve been learning through trial and error (mostly!) about the importance of being human. Its really a tough job to get people to connect with you and keep that going on..

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    • Hi Vinaya – Thanks very much for the comment and I’m happy you can relate. Encouraging and sustaining engagement is a really tough job that requires relentless persistence, so I completely agree with you on that. If you want to send me the URL to your blog, I’d love to check it out.

      Good luck with everything!

      Matthew.

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