Humanizing Your Brand on Social Media

In today’s world, brands are not just the company names behind your favorite jeans, your morning latte or even the home improvement store down the street. They are much more than that thanks to our connected world. With the rise of social media, now more than ever before, companies can connect directly with the people who use their product or service. Customers expect brands to be on social media, where company profiles may even sway purchasing decisions rooted in the most important piece to any successful business – establishing relationships.

By humanizing your brand on social media, you are showing a more personal side of your company to which customers can easily relate. People don’t want to follow a company that is constantly posting self-promoting tweets or posts that are cold, boring and lack personality. While they want to follow brands because they like their product or service, they also do it, well, because they like the person posting. Think of it like a friend- what is it that makes you comfortable around your friends. Are they relatable? Do they “get you?” Are they original and authentic? Do they make you laugh/smile? See what I’m getting at here?

Regardless of industry, social media has become a powerful relationship building tool and some companies are just killing it. Although these examples are B2C companies, B2Bs can learn a thing or two as well. Here are just a few simple tips to keep in mind when trying to show some personality through your company’s social media channels:

Be Consistent

No matter the company size or industry, the first thing you should do when joining any social media site is establish a personality. Do you want to come across as funny and a bit sassy, or would a kind and caring persona fit better with you brand? Whatever it may be, make sure there is a consistency across all social media platforms. There isn’t one type of personality that is going to work for all types of companies, so figuring this out early is very important.

Netflix is a great example of a company that has established a consistent voice on social media. Their posts are always witty, relevant, and very relatable (They know we can’t resist clicking “Next Episode” even after watching 6 in a row). They keep things light and fun, which explains why their Twitter alone has 1.7 million followers.

Be Authentic

McDonalds-Tweet-McNuggetsAuthenticity is not something that can be measured, but you just know when it’s there. A brand that tweets only robotic sales driven tweets are most likely not going to be known for authenticity. On the other hand, brands that show emotion, humor, and are fine with admitting when they are wrong, are definitely going to come across as authentic. People want brands to be genuine, real and honest about their product or service. Social media can be a great platform for this and a way to gain customer’s trust, but keep in mind that trust can just as easily be broken.

Take McDonald’s for example. It’s no secret that McDonald’s has had their fair share of controversy over the years, most recently with rumors that their burgers are injected with “pink slime” (sounds appetizing). They didn’t just deny these rumors and ignore the situation, instead they handled it head on by releasing videos showing the process behind making their food, as well as launching a website called “Our food. Your questions.”, which were both shared across their social channels.

Respond With a Sense of Urgency to Customers

When we’re really excited about a latte Latte from Starbucks, or upset because they got the order wrong, many of us do the same thing. We grab our smartphones and post to our social network of choice.

Starbucks-InstagramWhether it’s a compliment or a complaint, many people take to social media to talk about a product, service, or brand. As the company, replying to these posts or sharing them can show the customer that you actually take the time to read the comments or tweets and respond to them. Using social media as a form of customer service is a simple and quick way to gain the trust of the people who use your product or service and keep them happy.

If you take a scroll through Starbucks Instagram, you’ll see filtered photos of their drinks, food and store locations, as well as some reposted images from some of their 7.5 million followers. By sharing real pictures from their followers personal Instagram pages, they show that they look through the pictures they are tagged in and are giving people a reason to follow them. I mean, who doesn’t want the chance of getting their picture reposted to over 7 million people? If you take a look at their twitter page, you will also see they are constantly replying to tweets and communicating with people who love (and sometimes even hate) their product.

Remember, It’s Social…Have Fun!

We can all agree that social media is great no matter what industry you may be in. It is crucial in today’s world to not only have social profiles for your business but to be active on them as well. It’s time to get on your social media pages and show your followers the personality behind your company, and don’t be afraid to have a little fun!

About the Author

Cailyn Chrystal is an Account Manager at 898 Marketing.  As an Account Manager, Cailyn is responsible for navigating clients through social media opportunities as well as the optimization elements of brands’ websites and social content.  Cailyn is a graduate of Duquesne University with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications.
Contact Cailyn Chrystal