The number of online businesses has grown exponentially over the past two decades. And, to put things plainly, consumers have had it with faceless, generic brands trying to sell their products without taking the time to see how those products benefit the intended user. Especially on social media.
For example, survey data from 2017 shows that the five main reasons people unfollow brands on social include:
- Being annoying
- Providing a poor experience
- Coming off as spammy
- Posting offensive content
- Being unresponsive
And in 2021, lack of trust also made it onto the top 5 list of reasons for unfollowing brands on social media. This definitely reflects the overall shift in consumer trust, which has been steadily deteriorating over the past couple of years.
So, what can you do to ensure that your followers and potential customers remain engaged with your business?
Personally as well as on social media channels?
Well, one strategy would be to invest in the humanization of your brand. Doing this will enable you to:
- show that you understand your customers’ needs and pain points
- build strong relationships with your followers (positively impacting conversions and loyalty)
- reach a wider audience who’ll see your posts as relevant and genuinely valuable
So, are you ready to roll up your sleeves?
If yes, the following are the best strategies to humanize your brand on social media.
All of this along with some pretty impressive examples.
1. Show what your brand is about
One of the best ways to humanize your brand on social media is to be intentional about the type of content you publish.
Essentially, by ensuring that your posts reflect your brand identity, you can make it significantly easier for your audience to feel connected to your business, increasing their chances of becoming followers and, consequently, buyers.
There are three simple rules you need to follow to achieve this effect:
- Make sure that your posts reflect your brand values.
- Practice transparency. That way, your audience will know that your posts come from an honest place.
- Be consistent with your copy and visuals. This will help your audience build a more solid image of your organization, aiding brand recognition and helping you become the go-to in your industry.
An excellent example of a brand that does all this on its Instagram feed comes from ON.
Yes, some of the brand’s social media posts include standard product descriptions. However, most of the images and videos posted don’t focus on the products at all. Instead, they consist of inspirational messages, stunning visuals, and tons of encouragement, helping ON position itself as a brand that genuinely cares about helping professionals and enthusiasts get the absolute most out of their athletic gear.
2. Let your employees do the talking
Did you know that your sales and customer support teams play a huge role in how consumers perceive your brand? That’s right. Helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly team members can be the key to getting your social media followers to turn into lifelong customers.
In fact, 61% of customers will switch brands following a poor experience with a brand. And, 80% of consumers feel emotionally connected to brands whose customer service teams have helped them solve an issue.
So, if your team plays such a significant role in getting your audience to engage with your business, why not play around with brand humanization techniques that put the spotlight on your key players?
Doing it can be super easy. Slack, for example, delivers product updates on YouTube by having employees speak about new features. The technique is simple, cost-effective, and most importantly, it helps Slack position itself as a company that cares about solving customer issues instead of being just another organization trying to push its product.
3. Show your audience you get them
Another excellent strategy for humanizing your brand is to take a deep dive into the topics that interest your audience.
By covering subjects relevant to your customers’ experience, you won’t just build a brand personality that’s likable and relatable. Much more importantly, you’ll encourage potential buyers to follow you and interact with your posts. This will lead to improved relationships, better brand recognition, and a significant boost in conversions.
The best part about this strategy is that implementing it can be really simple.
For instance, a look at your analytics software can let you know about the search terms that have led people to your website. So, by creating social media content around those search terms, you can improve audience reach and ensure that your potential followers discover value in what you’re publishing.
If you check out Mannequin Mall on Pinterest, you’ll see that the brand’s social media strategy relies on inspiring target audiences to create the most beautiful window displays they can. But, the posts also play a role in introducing the brand’s offer. They show the products’ versatility and provide a significant dose of social proof by mentioning famous designers using the Mannequin Mall’s dress forms and mannequins.
A similar effect is achieved by Sola Wood Flowers on Instagram, though by slightly different means. This company’s social media content includes beautifully-produced educational videos that teach buyers how to create wood flower bouquets.
Considering that the business sells craft kits, it’s a great strategy. After all, a significant portion of Sola’s audience consists of people looking for instructions on how to make their own flower arrangements. So, the content on the brand’s Instagram profile performs a double duty.
On the one hand, it provides unique value to anyone looking to become great at making bouquets. On the other, it shows the brand’s products in a great light, inspiring people to engage with the content, become followers, and (hopefully) purchase their own kit down the line.
4. Share customer stories
If you’re looking for slightly more data-based ways to humanize your brand on social media, it’s not a bad idea to use these distribution channels to shine a light on your customers.
There are two main benefits of using social media content to tell customer stories:
- On the one hand, this tactic will help your potential buyers relate to the topics you cover and, consequently, recognize the value offered by your products and services.
- On the other, it will do something much more impactful: it will prove that your organization truly cares about the customer experience and is a customer-first brand they can rely on to deliver on its promises.
Of course, if you’re looking for additional proof that going the user-generated content (UGC) route makes perfect sense in 2022 and beyond, look no further than TINT’s latest report. This organization’s research shows that 65% of consumers want more diversity from brands on social media channels and that 45% of people will unfollow if a brand’s social media posts come off as too self-promotional. In other words, it proves that the best way forward in terms of branded social media is to employ user-generated content (even if just in the form of shared reviews).
But what’s the best way to use UGC to humanize your brand on social media?
Well, publishing user stories, like Bay Alarm Medical did, can be a super-effective tactic. It not only nurtures diversity but also makes your brand more authentic and relatable.
Bay Alarm Medical’s Instagram feed covers issues specifically relevant to the elderly and their caretakers. Thanks to this approach, the company proves that it’s not just a business selling a product but rather an organization committed to making its customers’ lives easier, safer, and more fulfilled.
5. Keep up with the trend
Don’t forget to keep your social media posts rooted in the current goings-on in the world.
Especially if you’re dedicated to showing that your brand is authentic and trustworthy.
And, that it also offers real value to your customers.
No, this does not mean jumping on every possible trend. Or, providing your followers with a live feed of world news. Rather, it means being open to commenting on relevant topics. Also, sharing content you feel will bring value to your audience.
For an excellent example of how you can do this, look no further than Pretest Plus. This brand uses its Twitter feed to distribute blog content, ensuring it reaches a large audience and delivers value to anyone keeping an eye out on select topics (even if they’re not followers).
Or, if you’re prepared to take a slightly more advanced approach, consider sharing a wider array of content — even that which is not your own.
That’s what G2 does on Twitter, ensuring that it provides its followers with great reads. This boosts engagement, starts conversations, and builds stronger relationships between the brand and its audience.
As you can see, positioning your organization as authentic, trustworthy, original, and human doesn’t have to be difficult. However, it does require some level of dedication.
By following the tips from this article, you can achieve exceptional results. Of course, to ensure that those results are long-lived, make sure that you keep an eye on the analytics. With that, you know what your audience likes seeing. Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to be yourself — even if it means breaking the molds of the convention.