Do People Think You’re a Marketing Robot?
As you navigate the path of inbound marketing, many phrases will be tossed your way. How many times have you heard “blogging for business,” “top of the funnel,” “social media strategy,” or “business branding”? Understanding what these terms mean and how they apply to you isn’t too hard, but figuring out how to put this knowledge into action isn’t always as easy.
Where most businesses have trouble sharing their brand identity without annoying their social media followers. While there are several steps you can follow to humanize your brand, your main goal should be engagement. Talking to your consumers and listening to what they have to say is the easiest way to develop and cultivate ties that could lead to future purchases. Beyond that, you still have your work cut out for you. Let’s examine a few ways to humanize your brand so your customers will feel that connection:
1. Humanize Your Business
While consumers like to know a business is serious when it comes to a product or service, they also want to know those responsible for those goods are people, too. If you give your staff a chance to shine, your target audience is more likely to identify with the people who make up your company. We all want to know whoever developed the latest software, beauty product, pair of jeans, or iPhone app is a flesh-and-blood person with the same thoughts, interests, and concerns. We’re more likely to trust your products because we trust your staff.
2. Avoid the Srs Bsns on Social Media
If you can’t think past the numbers, analytics, and bottom lines, don’t attempt to engage your customers. They won’t be concerned with your company’s accounting practices; they just want to know your product works. That disconnect will never serve you well on social media, and will in fact widen the gap between you and your buyers. Instead, keep executives off the social media when necessary. We’re not saying you guys don’t have a sense of humor or a connection to the consumer—and if you do, feel free to tweet away—but you should be aware of the image your company projects if your social campaigns aren’t personable.
3. Share Content from Others
While your customers don’t necessarily want to know all the down and dirty details of doing business, they do want to know your company is top in its field. You can make this clear with your content. Share fun facts, video, industry news—so many things apply to your business and your social media profile. By acknowledging others in the field, you build trust with your customers, who often just want to know they have options.
If your social media strategy doesn’t include responses, you’re wasting your time. Without engagement, you’re simply talking at people. You might as well be a machine, and that’s exactly how your potential customers will see you. If you’re not comfortable with banter, accepting criticism, or issuing heart-felt thanks, you may want to find someone else to handle your social media accounts.
5. Put a Face to the Name
Many companies incorporate branding seamlessly with their social media accounts but forget the human aspect. Yes, buyers will recognize your logo and your slogan, but the connection to an actual person may never occur to them. By connecting your social media accounts to your staff members, buyers will start to see that real people have an impact on your company’s products and services. Consider an image of your company’s CEO or even the Social Media Director in addition to the company logo on your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages.
6. Give an Inside View
Sharing content shouldn’t be hard. Yes, you want to engage and inform, but sometimes you just need to open the doors wide open and let people inside. Consider posting Vine videos of hijinks in the office, YouTube videos of a company field trip or karaoke contest, or images of your latest office cubicle decorating contest. Give consumers the reassurance that your employees are just like everyone else.
7. Set Aside Conversation Times
You’re busy; we get it. Still, customers want to hear from you. How did you create your product? What do you hope to accomplish with it? How do you hope people see your brand? You can give the answers to these and so many more questions through scheduled Twitter chats or open forum Q&A sessions on Facebook. Your customers will love the chance to interview you. They’ll feel special, included, and in-the-know.
8. Admit When You’re Wrong
One thing that will really set you apart from other companies on Twitter and Facebook is your ability to accept blame. Past snafus have seriously harmed the companies who chose to hide the issue on social media rather than face the problem head-on. We could list them for you, starting with Applebee’s and never ending, but the true lesson is just to own up, apologize, and maybe find a positive spin. You could lose face, but you’ll save customers.
There’s a good chance you’ve already noticed several companies on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn breaking these rules. Sometimes the easiest way to learn is to just watch others make the mistakes first. The most important thing to remember is that your customers are real people, and they want to know you are, too. If you keep that in mind and prepare to make apologies when you mess up, you’ll succeed in humanizing your brand quickly.
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