How To Humanize Your Brand On Social Media

The cat’s out of the bag! Your customers know that you’re using social media to market to them. Why? Because everyone does. It’s the best way to gain new customers in today’s world.

The problem with marketing on social media is that, if done incorrectly, it can make your brand seem ingenuine and robotic. If you can’t already tell–people don’t like that! People like authenticity and honesty.

Here’s how you can humanize your brand online and be more genuine.

Show Vulnerability And Embrace Mistakes

The easiest way to humanize your brand online is to showcase your vulnerabilities for the world to see. Customers love it when you let them see the messy stuff. They want to know that there are real people behind the content that they consume and the products they buy.

A perfect example of this is when ASOS printed 17 000 bags with a spelling mistake. Rather than try to hide the error, they embraced it and called the lot “limited edition!”

This little tongue in cheek move endeared them to their audience online – proof that owning your mistakes is always a win!

Mistakes aren’t a bad thing! Mistakes make you look real. What human hasn’t made mistakes in their life?

Use Customer Influencers

Many of your customers are micro-influencers and don’t even know it.

“An image or post that is a little rough, but that a user just could not wait to share is often worth a lot more than a fancy, staged, glossy shot from an influencer with 1million+ followers. For this reason, you can always trust a micro-influencer to keep it real!” – Like A Voss

These customers that can help you sell your product, and help you to humanize your brand because they are real people who have actually purchased and used your product/service. Instead of being the high-paid influencers, your customers are people that already know and love your brand (and they may have already been promoting it for free).

Customers are more likely to buy your products and services if they know others have, and had a positive experience. Think of it like when people look at reviews online before going to a new restaurant. So, be sure to show people all of your happy customers! Share customer photos, stories and content on your social media pages (with permission of course). This will show your followers and the world that you are a brand of the people!

Using customer generated content is one of the most powerful tools a social media marketer has to gain authenticity – so use it!

Interact Like A Human

It sounds pretty simple, but, shockingly, not a lot of brands bother to just interact like a real human being. If someone says something to you online, say something back! It’s not rocket science!

@-replying is a great way to support your online community and increase engagement. Not only that, but it makes the person, fan, or customers feel much more seen and, in turn, creates more brand loyalty.

Customers want to talk to real people when they comment on your content. So get rid of auto-responders or generic replies and take the time to give your social media followers some genuine attention. If they’re going to dedicate time and money to your brand, you owe them at LEAST a genuine reply.

Another great way to do this is to have people using your social media to sign off as themselves when engaging. On the LAV team you’ll see “MRV” “BCK” “EMD” on the content, which lets you know who you are talking to – and we have had lots of positive feedback on it. If you’re outsourcing we would not recommend this, as you don’t want to have a third party signing off as someone they are not.

Maintain A Singular Voice

Maintaining a strong voice on social media is the easiest way to be real person. Real people have strong opinions, values, and something they care about that others can connect to. Real people stick to their values in the way they speak and interact with others. The more consistent your voice and values are, the more real you seem.

But consistency is difficult if there are too many employees creating social media posts. In this case, make sure your staff have a clear idea of your brand identity (and your company values). 

A good way to keep social media content consistent is to have a gatekeeper. This is an individual who checks and tweaks all the staff posts that come through to make sure they are on brand.

Of course, hiring a social media manager is even more effective! They are experts on maintaining a consistent and real voice online.

Embrace Storytelling

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” Seth Godin

Tell your customers stories about how you got started, and why you love what you do.  Tell stories about your customers, and experiences they have had with you/your company. Tell stories about your products, how they were made, how they are used, how far they have travelled – the options are endless. Literally, tell stories about anything! People love stories. It’s one of the things that makes us human–telling and creating stories.

Embrace storytelling with thoughtful captions, engaging behind-the-scenes videos and features on your website.

In the end, the key to standing out from all the social media marketing noise is to be authentic – whether you are running a company, or a personal brand.

Customers will tune out on social media if you’re too salesy. So follow these tips, be real, and give lots of value – your followers will be more likely to listen!

Want help with your social media strategy? Contact us today for a FREE discovery session with our team!

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This blog post was originally published in April 2019 and has been edited to improve accuracy and readability.

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