Looking to humanize your brand with social media?
Today, the discussion to ”humanize your brand” has become more and more common. Back in the days, the topic of humanizing brands was essentially never discussed, but now, it is becoming increasingly important to brands as they start to realize just how effective of a marketing tactic it really is.
The distance between brands and customers were big, and the relationships between customers and businesses weren’t very strong. But now, the relationships that certain brands have with their customers today was almost unthinkable back in the days.
Furthermore, brands were also terrified of being open, transparent, and admitting any mistakes in the fear of it damaging them and their reputation.
Until.. businesses realized that it actually did the opposite. Because it helped humanize their brand.
This, in turn, helps them build stronger customer relationships, which leads to increased loyalty, which lastly leads to more sales.
With all of that in mind, it’s not surprising that more and more people work to humanize their brands, because it doesn’t just bring one benefit, but rather a set of benefits that all help bring you closer to your end goal, which is to sell more.
As a result of this, it’s not very surprising that you might be wondering how to humanize your brand as well, because today, those who understand the benefit of humanizing your brand, they understand that the opportunity is simply too good to ignore.
But how do you actually humanize your brand?
It’s easy to throw around all of these buzzwords, but it’s a lot harder to put this into practice and actually generate great results that ultimately, lead to marketing benefits. There are many ways to go about to humanize your brand, but the foundation for it is always the people. You can work to humanize your brand all you want, but if you aren’t reaching people with your efforts, there will be no humanized results, because after all, it is your audience that decides how human your brand is and how they view it.
But since how human your brand is is dependent on your audience, you want to work to humanize your brand on places where your audience’s attention is. And today, people’s attention is on social media. As a result, social media is a tremendous tool to humanize your brand.
The good news is that all of this is exactly what I’ll be teaching you in this article.
In this post, we’re looking at 13 ways to humanize your brand with social media.
Why humanize your brand with social media?
Well, as mentioned, humanizing your brand comes with a large set of benefits – and surprisingly, very few downsides.
But at its core, the reason you humanize is to build stronger and better customer relationships.
In case you didn’t know, customer relationships are probably the most impactful marketing method there is because it creates such a strong sense of belonging and loyalty that other marketing methods can only dream of achieving. And best of all, it leverages human engagement and relationship psychology.
Furthermore, today, people expect businesses to be human and everything that comes with it, such as transparent authentic and all of the other buzzwords that actually have great importance behind them. Back in the days, the vast majority of businesses didn’t even consider the term humanizing, and as a result of this, brands, in general, started to gain the reputation of being crooks that were evil and wanted to steal everyone’s money.
Now, this image still lives on to some extent, and this is also why humanizing your brand with social media is even more important than ever. By humanizing your brand, you present yourself as more approachable, more honest, and can build customer relationships which build trust and therefore removes all doubts and criticism.
1. See your brand as a fictional character
Before you begin working to humanize your brand with social media, you obviously need to define which personality you want your brand to have.
The best way to do this is to imagine your brand as a fictional character.
If you don’t define it, you’ll end up working to personalize your brand, but each action you take will reflect a different personality. This is not ideal as it creates a disconnect and makes it harder for people to resonate with you, and ultimately build a relationship with you.
Imagine if your best friend would have a different personality every new week
A crucial and fundamental part of humanizing your brand is actually embracing human traits, and this is obviously a personality. Furthermore, it also needs a brand/human voice,
By defining your brand personality and voice, you’ll know exactly how you’re going to act in every given situation. And most importantly, your team can make sure that they all use the same personality so that they aren’t creating a disconnect.
To begin, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is this fictional character?
- What type of humor do they have?
- What is their name?
- What type of style do they have?
- How do they dress?
- What’re their hobbies?
- Are they calm? Are they happy?
- Do they have a great humor or are they conservative and corporate-like?
- What special traits do they have?
By answering these questions and forming the answers based on the personality you want your brand to have, when completed these questions, you will have perfectly personalized your brand which now everyone in your team who is operating on social media can use when engaging and interacting with the public.
The best part is that when you have created a fictional character that you have in your mind, it’s a lot easier to play them than to try to follow a list of points with traits that you need to adapt. This does not only streamline the process, but it ensures that your brand is humanized the right way and every word you say is aligned at all times.
Remember that when working to humanise your brand on social media, or anywhere for that matter, you’re not just giving your brand a personality which people can resonate with, but you need to make sure that this person reflects the image you want your brand to have and how you want your audience to remember you.
This is why it is crucial that these two parts align with each other.
Also, and I cannot emphasize this enough: you shouldn’t just focus on what you want when developing your brand voice and personality which will help you humanize your brand.
The single most important part is your audience and that your personality aligns and resonates with them. For example, if I am targeting teens, then obviously I shouldn’t use a brand voice and personality which is conservative, modest, and boring, right? Doing this would distance yourself from them, and make it seem like you aren’t the brand for them. It’s just like how you enter a bar, for example, and you can just feel how it is not for you. it might play weird music, it might only have old/young people, and ultimately, this leads to you leaving, right? And the exact same thing goes for how you portray your brand and the people you have in mind when developing it.
2.Engage with your audience
When working to humanize your brand with social media, the single most important thing is that you engage and interact with your audience.
And I really cannot emphasize this enough, because that’s essentially the whole reason why you use social media in the first place: to reach and engage with your target audience.
Social media is a tremendous relationship too, but it is actually a less good promotional tool, so this is why you need to use social media for things that work. And in working to humanize your brand with social media, engaging and interacting undoubtedly works the best.
Few people realize just how incredible of a customer interaction tool social media really is, but back in the days, if you were to interact with your target audience and work to humanize your brand, you would have to engage with your customers in whichever ways were available. These were meeting them face-to-face- sending them letters and maybe even calling them.
And as you know, these methods, while they might work, are incredibly time-consuming. With social media, on the other hand, you can reach people from all over the world within a matter of seconds, and what’s most impressive, you can do this in a matter of seconds, which means you can have conversations with literally hundreds or even thousands of people every single day.
What’s so amazing is that people actually want to engage and interact with people on social media, and this creates an amazing opportunity if you take the chance, listen to your audience, and work to actively engage and interact with them.
2. Put the spotlight on your team and employees
To humanize your brand on social media, it’s not only about engaging with your audience, even though it’s an important part as it allows them to actually see your personality and build a relationship with you. In fact, humanizing a brand is about making it more human, and if you think about it, what is it that makes things human? Well, humans of course!
As such, you want to highlight your team and the humans working behind the scenes to make the things that people might take for granted.
Doing this helps you remove the fancy facade of your brand and logo, but instead, welcome your customers to the people that make your brand because what’s universal for all brands is that it is the people who make the companies, and without them, there’d be no brand.
Social media gives a number of opportunities for highlighting your team and showcasing it to your audience and the opportunities really are endless. One idea is to, every week highlight a team member of yours through a post. Don’t just leave it at that, though, but focus on the traits that really humanise your brand on social media, which means talk about their personality, what they like to do in their free time, what makes them so awesome at what they do, and when your audience can expect to be in contact with them.
For example, if you engage with a brand on social media, most often, you’ll have no idea who you spoke to, and therefore, the brand you are engaging with won’t be humanized, but rather it will create a distance. If you, on the other hand, as a brand, make it clear who people are talking to in which step of the process, your customers will tend to be nicer as well, because they realise they are talking to an actual real human just like themselves who are just trying to do their job as opposed to a faceless brand. You’ll be surprised at how huge of a difference it makes.
Furthermore, as opposed to just presenting your team, you can also have them tell their passions of what they’re trying to achieve within your company, a story that captivates your audience and makes them more engaged.
3. Share behind the scenes content of your team
If you want to take your “team spotlighting” to the next level and humanize your brand with social media even more, sharing behind the scenes content of your team is even more impactful. The reason is that it adds another depth to your brand since you now make your brand more transparent in a completely different way by showing what actually goes on behind your beautifully polished facade.
Now how can you do this?
Well, the opportunities are endless, really.
One idea is to create a post where you film a teammate of yours and then have them tell what they do and guide your audience through the process of what it is they are doing. Doing this will engage your audience in a completely unique way, and at the same time, it will make your brand much more transparent. This is something that greatly helps you humanize your brand with social media.
4.Partner with social media influencers
In recent years, influencer marketing has exploded in popularity.
People’s attention has moved from television to social media, and instead of looking up to celebrities and turning to them for advice, they turn to industry experts and professionals for advice within their specific niche.
As a marketer, you’re always chasing the attention of your target audience, and in that way, influencer marketing is tremendous for bringing your brand lots of exposure and helping it gain traction on social media, but in this case, that’s not the biggest benefit of influencer marketing.
At the same time as you’re getting tons of exposure, influencers are also great for helping you humanize your brand with social media. As influencers work as the face towards the public for your brand when promoting it, people will start associating your brand with that influencer.
Humans trust other people – not fancy logos or brands, and this is an important reason why influencers have become so trusted by the audiences. At the same time, 92% of people trust peer recommendations – even if they don’t know them. What does this mean?
Well, it means that since people see influencers as their peers, they’ll obviously trust them. But since people don’t see businesses as peers, they won’t trust them. If you humanize, your brand, however, for example by leveraging influencers, your audience will start seeing your brand as their peer, and thus trust you significantly more.
5.Admit your mistakes
Humanising your brand means showing human qualities.
Furthermore, you also need to have in mind that there are numerous factors that help build up a more humanized brand.
The words that are closest are transparency, authenticity, and honesty. And the fact is, in working to humanize your brand with social media, you can’t neglect any of them. They’re all important ingredients to a humanized brand.
And you know what happens when you try to remove fundamental ingredients in a recipe, right?
Well, the outcome becomes less than desirable.
Something that helps do all of these things is admitting and owning up to your mistakes. Throughout the history of businesses, brands have been terrified of making mistakes in the fear of it damaging their reputation. Therefore, when they’ve made mistakes, they’ve tried to sweep them under the carpet and pretend like nothing has happened. Only that people will notice it. And when they do, you’ll have damaged your reputation, because people saw your mistake, and they saw you trying to pretend like nothing happen. This makes people wonder what else you are trying to hide from them.
When humanizing your brand, you’re partly working to get people to trust you, and if people see that you’re trying to hide things from them, o you think their trust in you will increase?
Of course not.
Therefore, when working to humanize your brand with social media you need to be transparent in the
Despite what many brands tend to believe, it is okay to make mistakes. In fact, if you hide your mistakes every time you make them, what will happen is you’ll just present yourself as some non-human force, considering the fact that everyone makes mistakes. In that sense, to humanize your brand with social media, it is actually good to make mistakes every now and then, because it shows your audience you’re human and make mistakes just like themselves.
No-one is perfect, and your customers know that, but what is interesting is what you do when you make mistakes, and how you handle them.
Making mistakes shows that you are human, but making up for your mistakes in a good way shows that you’re a good human. This is why, you don’t only want to admit mistakes when you make them, but you also need to think about how you can make up for those mistakes and make things right again.
When making mistakes (which you should), you, therefore, need to do the following:
- Admit your mistakes and don’t try to pretend like nothing happened
- Apologise and don’t use some standard canned message that you send out to the people affected. Instead, take the time to show that you actually care about them and their experience with your brand, and craft a personalized message for each individual affected.
- Show your audience that you listen to their feedback, and take appropriate action which shows them you’re doing everything you can to prevent it from happening again.
- Show your audience that you’re doing everything you can to make things right again.
You’ll be amazed at how much respect you’ll gain from your audience by doing this, because so few brands are doing it, and admitting your mistakes takes courage.
6. Showcase your humor
Despite what many people tend to think, everyone likes to laugh.
I often hear brands saying ”but we can’t use humor in our marketing because it just doesn’t resonate with my industry or target audience”, and while that might be a relevant argument in some cases, most of the time, it’s actually not the case.
This means that for the vast majority of brands, humor can be leveraged in their marketing.
The best part is that to humanize your brand with social media, humor is one of the best emotions to use.
Most brands are afraid of showing personality in fear of it making them come off as unprofessional or unserious, but using humor actually makes you much more approachable.
Think about it, if you’re in a room of strangers, who are you most likely to approach? A person who is laughing or people who are just standing there?
Humor helps make you more approachable, more genuine, and overall just more relatable, but most importantly, since laughing and humor is one of the most “iconic” human traits, it is incredibly effective to use in order to humanize your brand with social media.
What you need to have in mind though, is the type of humor you use. Just like developing a personality, there are many ways to develop a humor scheme, but the good news is that you don’t really have to do this when you’ve already developed your brand personality. What you need to think of, though, is your target audience and the type of humor they will connect with. Obviously, teens won’t laugh at the same jokes as 65+ year old’s, and in that way, your target audience has a great impact on what you joke about, and how you use humor in your social media actives.
One of the best examples of a brand using humor in their social media marketing is Wendy’s. They have time and time over been praised for their authentic social media activities that greatly helps them humanize their brand on social media
They have not only found a brand personality that works, but they’ve also developed a sense of humor that aligns with their audience, and which their audience loves.
You can use humor as much or as little as you want since there is no universal number or rule. As long as you know your target audience and what they resonate with, you’ll be able to see great results from your humor on social media, and you’ll notice that your audience will become much more engaged and loyal in you.
7.Sign your posts and messages
This is a very simple thing to do but one that helps contribute to humanize your brand with social media.
Whether you have several people managing your social media posts or you’re doing it by yourself, sign off each and every posts and message of yours on social media.
Doing this comes with several benefits.
First off, it shows your audience that there’s a real person behind your post or the response they received. Secondly, doing this allows you to keep better track of who did what, so you can better follow up with each of your efforts on social media. What’s more, it also helps you build a relationship with your audience and put a face to it. When people know they’re talking to a real person, the conversation becomes much more personal and authentic.
On social media, you can see more and more brands doing it because it’s such a small effort, yet one that comes with big benefits.
8. Share engaging and compelling content
Great content lays the foundation for success on social media. Your content is of the greatest importance, and therefore, it is what will have the biggest impact on how you humanize your brand. With the content you share, you have a million ways to humanize your brand on social media.
Firstly, you need to make sure that the content you share provides your audience with value and that you focus on your audience’s needs rather than your own.
Furthermore, you want to leverage content that helps you show human traits – content that shows emotions, thoughts, ideas, and reflections. Content that impacts your audience more than a 10% offer.
To do this, you need to get to know your audience and what drives them. While some people are emotionally impacted by pictures of kittens, some people just couldn’t care less, and in that sense, content that works extremely well for humanizing one brand might not work at all for other brands.
Content ideas that you can use to create content for social media that shows your human sides can be:
- Content that shows your opinions and takes on things
- Things you are passionate about
- Things that impact you deeply emotionally.
9. Pay great attention to your language
The language you use is of the absolute greatest importance when working to humanize your brand with social media. Few people speak the way a boring press release from a conservative brand is written, and therefore, you shouldn’t use this language! Your audience won’t resonate with it, but most importantly, it won’t help you humanize your brand one bit, because it shows no real personality behind it – it gives you no room to express yourself and show true human characteristics.
This is why it is so important to develop your own brand voice and tone.
When doing this, you don’t want to use a language without any thought, but you want to use the same language that your target audience uses. This will help them resonate better with you, and it will, therefore, make you into one of them.
A common misconception is that all brands should use slang, abbreviations, and swearwords if they want to humanize their brand, but that is actually not completely true. Sure, if your target audience uses that type of language, doing so is a great idea, however, if your target audience doesn’t, you’ll only end up creating an even greater gap between you and them.
All humans have a personality, and this person is to a great extent reflected in the language and tone they have, and so this is also why it is so important to align your language with your brand personality and the way you want people to perceive you.
On social media especially, people use a very relaxed everyday language, and this makes it even more important to not use a boring conservative language which no-one resonates with.
Also, make sure that you create a unique voice for your brand which your brand will be recognized by. Wendy’s satirical and edgy voice is so easily distinctive, and this makes them stand out from all of their competitors on social media.
10.Surprise your customers
The only real way to be the best and win over your competitors is to go above and beyond and do what your competitors aren’t doing. Also, things have a much greater impact when people are expecting it the least.
You appreciate it a lot more when you receive a gift on a random day compared to when receiving it on your birthday because you don’t expect it.
The power of surprises is something you want to leverage to humanize your brand with social media to show your audience that you pay attention to the details.
There are plenty of ways to surprise your customers on social media, but here are some ideas that help you build strong relationships with your customers as well (which in turn leads to a humanization of your brand):
- Look at the social media accounts of your most loyal customers and leverage key information about them to send them gifts on important dates and include a hand-written letter
- Send messages to your customers on social media every now and then and let them know that you appreciated and value them – and do so without a hidden agenda.
- Make social media posts about your customers when you thank them.
11. Take part in the conversation
Chances are, there are communities focused on your industry niche on social media. Here, people gather to discuss topics related to your industry, and to chat with each other. This is a great place for you to take part in the conversation and show your brand’s personality, but also to show your expertise.
The only real way to humanize your brand is to actually show your brand’s human sides, and for this, you need to actually reach and engage with people.
12.Showcase your products being used by people
The power of social proof is enormous.
In fact, more than 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision. customer reviews are no joke. Think about how crazy it is that we trust complete strangers when buying things.
Humans trust customer reviews because we are group animals, and this is something you can leverage to humanize your brand on social media.
Therefore, make it a part of your content strategy to showcase existing customers of yours who are using your products. If you want to take it even further, you can interview existing customers of what they think about your products, why they bought it, and how it has helped improve their lives.
People don’t trust brands because they know that all they’re trying to do is sell them stuff, but people do trust their peers, and so by leveraging these individuals by showcasing them using your products, or sharing a testimonial on social media, you can have a greater impact with the messages you share.
People identify themselves with other people especially if they’re similar to themselves, and this is a good thing since you have a target audience of people who share similar characteristics. This helps them see themselves in that position, which ultimately brings them closer to a purchase.
Most importantly, using testimonials of existing customers in your social media strategy helps you get real humans to represent your brand, giving it more of a human touch to it.
13. Share behind the scenes content
Sharing behind-the-scenes content of your team, as mentioned earlier, is a great way to humanize your brand with social media, but there are much more opportunities of behind-the-scenes content than that.
People have a hard time resonating with businesses that have a fancy and polished facade where we never really get to know what happens behind the curtains and what goes into creating the product that they use. At the same time, people want to know how their product was made, and what went into making it, and embracing this type of transparency is great for humanization since it shows everyone that you have nothing to hide and that you’re proud of your business. The best part of that is that when you take pride in your business, your customers will feel proud for being customers.
Showing your team is a great start, but why not also show your offices, your factory (if you have one), and how you work behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly.
In your company, there are plenty of things you can show that will highlight human characteristics that everyone can recognize themselves with, and this helps you show that you and they aren’t that different after all. Show your audience when you’re eating cake in your office’s kitchen, or how everyone is drinking coffee like c crazy. When you show things that everyone goes through and do, you show that just because everything people know is a logo and a brand doesn’t mean that it is all there is to it.
Humanizing your brand is a tremendously valuable and effective strategy to help you generate better marketing results. by humanizing your brand, you’ll be able to build stronger and deeper relationships with your target audience by making yourself more approachable, and because humans build relationships with other humans.
Being human as a brand allows you to stand out from the crowds and interact with your customers on a much deeper level which creates great customer loyalty. Working to humanize your brand with social media is a great idea since social media is a perfect tool to leverage to get to the same level as your audience. It allows for instant connection and a direct line to your most engaged fans.