Dear [Valued Customer/Wrong Name],
I have a hunch that being greeted like that made you feel more like a machine than the living, breathing, unique, and invaluable human that you are. Wouldn’t you say? Now, as a consumer in 2019, how much generic and lifeless content are you hoping to, well…consume? My guess would be little to none, but you’ll still run into it, whether it’s in your inbox or your social feeds.
When you’re thinking about how to market your brand in the new year, remember that generic content might be easier to produce, but it’s also easier for people to ignore (and to be honest, it’s not even that much easier to produce, thanks to timesaving tools like marketing automation). Don’t be afraid to take risks. Because here’s the thing about risks – people take them, not brands.
The modern day consumer values intense personalization and engagement, and humanizing your brand is one great way to get their attention. Let’s talk about how leveraging social media to humanize your brand can help you foster more engaging connections with your audience.
Is Your Brand a ‘People Person’ on Social Media? Become One
I know that might sound strange, but think about how you interact with your audience online. A human that identifies as a ‘people person’ is often perceived as warm and inviting and is particularly good at interacting with others. For your brand to be a ‘people person’ on social media, it has to achieve a reputation for being particularly good at interacting (read: engaging) with others.
Humanizing your brand means giving the people behind your posts permission to be people and breathe life into the unique brand voice that will forge the connections that keep your followers invested.
Offer a valuable experience on social media, and have fun doing it.
Think Like a Human Brand in 2019 (and Have Fun with It)
Be brave! Here are some ways to think like a human brand when communicating with your audience on social media or through your other marketing channels:
- Engage with other profiles in a way that ignites a friendly sense of camaraderie. Modern-day consumers have to bear witness to enough mudslinging as it is – it always pays to respond in a levelheaded, respectful, or at least kindly humorous way to the brands, competitors, or people that engage with your profile.
- Wendy’s found unexpected success by being sassy and responsive on Twitter, but what works for them might not work for you.
- Use vocabulary that is warm, inviting and personalized. Us humans tend to go for that - don’t make it clear that a robot is running the show.
- Be humble. When you make mistakes - which you will - own them, laugh, do better.
- Don’t be afraid to post ‘cutesy’ stuff around the holidays. How mad are you when you see a cute puppy, regardless of what his precious face is trying to sell or celebrate?
- Show the many faces of your brand. Share photos of your employees interacting in their real workspace or out in the field building community in a relatable way; not everything you share has to be through a super professional lens.
- Be responsive. When a fellow human asks you a question in person, do you stare at them blankly in silence or do you promptly answer? It is important to maintain a sense of urgency and respect when interacting with people online, so pay attention and be helpful.
- Listen more than you talk. Humans aren’t always great at this, but it really pays to try.
Pro tip: Did you notice that none of the ways I just listed has to compromise your brand voice? You can still maintain your organization’s unique voice while being more human on social media.
Think Like a Human, But Keep the Marketing Magic Alive
A human brand doesn’t just thrive on social media, it thrives in subscribers’ inboxes, at sold-out events, in everyday conversations that people are having with each other. Give your people something to talk about! Then use that human tone to communicate in other ways, like in an online community or through a (not-so-creepy) marketing automation campaign. Humanizing your brand can also create better channels of communication that improve the customer experience and drive revenue.
Just remember to keep the human magic alive! A generic greeting like the one at the start of this piece just screams, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” while a personalized greeting carries on the magic of the Wizard of Oz. Catch my drift? You can yield the right attention by paying attention to your people and personalizing their experience.
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