Social media remains one of the most popular channels for marketing to customers. Today’s consumers just can’t get enough of social media, and they happily and willingly spend hours of their time on these apps interacting with one another and with brands.
However, simply having a presence on social media is not enough to keep a brand in the spotlight anymore. Nearly every brand is on social media, so if you want to continue to stand out and stay relevant, you must do more than just post conventional content.
The key to creating the best customer experiences on social media is humanization. You need to connect with your customers on a more personal level and “be real” with them if you want to continue garnering their attention.
Why Humanizing Your Brand is Important
Humans need human connection; it’s that simple. In a world where everything is going digital, and so many of our interactions happen through a screen, people are craving more humanized and personal experiences to make them feel connected.
As such, it’s important for brands to avoid robotic marketing tactics that lack empathy and authenticity. Standard marketing and sales tactics just won’t cut it anymore. They don’t affect people much because today’s consumers are so desensitized now to anything that doesn’t speak to them on a more personal level.
So, if you want to make an impact, you’ve got to make the effort to genuinely connect with your customers by humanizing your brand.
You need to show them that, behind the facade, you are made up of real people just like them, and you understand who they are and what they want. Only then can you build relationships with your customers that will keep them coming back for more again and again.
Tips to Humanize Your Brand on Social Media
Below are ten tips to help you humanize your brand in order to deliver better customer experiences on social media.
1. Use Data to Share Valuable and Relevant Content
First, it’s essential to do your research so you can better understand your audience and what would have the biggest impact on them — and the key to this is data.
Analyzing data can give you more insight into your target audience, such as their behaviors, buying trends, pain points, etc. This is all information that is necessary to create social media content that is more valuable and relevant to your customers.
And this includes using both internal and external data. External data will inform you about things that originate outside of your company, but internal data that shows what is happening within your company is just as important.
For example, internal data can show you what you are already doing and what is not working for you. The external data on your target audience, on the other hand, can then be used to show you what you need to change in order to make what you are doing work for you.
2. Connect With Your Audience on an Emotional Level
Again, robotic marketing tactics aren’t going to get you very far today. Instead, you need to show that your brand has feeling and can empathize with your customers. And you can do this by showing actual human emotions in your content.
This doesn’t mean your content needs to be drowning in emotion, but you should dig a little deeper to showcase a range of complex emotions and reactions.
Humor, sarcasm, joy, excitement, sympathy, empathy — all of these are normal emotions that your customers experience, so if you can show that your brand feels the same, you are more likely to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
3. Put Faces to Your Brand Name
What better way to show that your brand has feeling like a real person than to actually show the faces behind your brand?
Customers are more likely to connect with content that shows people who look and think like them. So instead of just using picture-perfect photoshopped models in your brand imagery, try showing the more realistic and diverse faces that make up your company.
No one wants to buy a product that is targeted at some fake persona. They want to see that there are real people just like them supporting your brand and using your products or services.
If your employees don’t want to be showcased in your content, try leveraging influencers. Influencer marketing is an invaluable social media branding strategy, as it allows you to use the power of influencers to connect with wider audiences. However, it also shows your customers that real people like them love and support your brand.
4. Offer Exclusive “Behind-the-Scenes” Content
Customers love to feel like they are getting to experience something that most others don’t. It’s part of that FOMO (fear of missing out) trend. They don’t want to feel excluded; they want to feel included, exclusively.
This is a great opportunity to show more of a BTS (behind-the-scenes) look at what goes on at your company, which serves two purposes. It fulfills that desire to feel special and included while also showing customers more of the “realness” that allows them to connect with your brand on a more personal level.
This can be done by posting videos or photos of special events at your company, sneak peeks at exciting projects you are working on, or general day-to-day silliness that your employees get up to.
It can be whatever you want it to be, but the idea is to show customers something that makes them feel like they are getting a peek inside at something most others don’t normally get to experience.
5. Be Informative and Inclusive
The spread of misinformation on social media is a serious problem, and it’s important for brands to avoid perpetuating false information or even harmful standards and stereotypes — especially with the way so many younger generations use what they see on social media to self-diagnose or determine their self-worth.
As such, one of the most important things you can do to humanize your brand is to recognize this human struggle and fight against it by spreading information and content that is more helpful, mindful, and inclusive.
Show your customers that you genuinely care about their happiness and well-being by taking a stand and providing content that is informative, not deceitful.
If you simply spread misinformation for the purpose of making more money, it will ultimately end up alienating your audience and lose you loyal customers.
6. Make it Authentic and Personal
If you really want to connect with your audience and get personal, be transparent with them and tell your brand’s story.
How did your brand get started? What were your humble beginnings? What inspires your brand? Why do you do what you do? What do you love about your business? What has your journey been like?
These are all things that customers love to hear about, and it helps them feel more emotionally connected to your brand.
7. Engage With Your Audience
Active social media engagement is another key component that makes for better customer experiences and increases brand recognition.
Passive marketing is a thing of the past. Today’s consumers want to feel like they are a part of the process. Some of the top brands today got where they are by upping their social media engagement.
Customers absolutely love when brands “talk back” to them and interact with them like a friend. Be funny. Be witty. Exchange memes. Make jokes. Reply to comments. Be snarky.
You also don’t have to be funny and humorous with your engagement — though that does seem to get the most hits — you can also be sincere and heartfelt with your interactions. The goal is to actively participate in whatever way suits your brand’s voice. Just be there and be present.
8. Be a Conversation Starter
As an add-on to being engaging, try starting a conversation with your customers to get them interested and talking.
Ask them questions and “invite them to the table” to have a conversation about the things they care about.
You can start conversations about more serious topics as a way of showing where your brand stands on important subjects, or you can simply seek to interact and engage with them about more fun and carefree topics.
It’s not so much what the conversation is about but simply the act of having a conversation in the first place, as it shows your customers that you see them and you want to hear what they have to say.
9. Show Your Appreciation
Share your wins on social media and show your customers that you appreciate their support. Saying things like “we wouldn’t be where we are today without you” makes your customers feel special, and it acknowledges that they matter to you and that you care about them.
It tells them that you appreciate them just as much as they appreciate your brand and what it offers.
Consistently showing your appreciation for your customers will gain you a loyal following that goes out of their way to support your brand and share your brand with others.
And you can do this with kind words, or you can show your appreciation through special offers, promotions, discounts, etc.
10. Ask for Feedback
Finally, ask for feedback from your customers. If you want to deliver better customer experiences, the best way to do that is to go right to the source and ask them what they want or what you could do better.
All the consumer research in the world is not half as good as coming right out and asking your customers directly about what they like or don’t like about your brand or what changes they would like to see.
You can do this through social media polls. You can ask questions in live videos. Or you can even put the questions out there as general posts or in the comments.
At the end of the day, the best way to show your customers you care about them is to ask them what they think and what you can do to improve their experience.
There is no one right way to humanize your brand. The best way to start is just to get out there and experiment. Be authentic. Be transparent. Be caring. Be personal. Get emotional. And most importantly, have fun with it.