Social Media Strategies for Businesses That Will Humanize Your Brand

One of the biggest shifts in digital marketing is the need for an authentic brand voice. Regardless of your industry, you’re going to fall behind the pack if you don’t take advantage of social media and the engagement opportunities that come along with it.

To be truly successful, though, you need to really think about how you portray your brand to customers and prospects. Whether you’re just getting started or need a social media facelift, here are seven tips on how to humanize your brand and create a personalized experience for your audience.

Create a Persona

The first step in humanizing your brand on social media is to create a persona. Without a set social media voice, your posts will be inconsistent and very likely lack any flavor or interest for your followers. Start off with any branding materials you have for your broader marketing campaigns since those can be easily translated for digital marketing as well.

If you don’t have any voice guidelines, it’s time to create them. Figure out how you want your company to engage with your audience: friendly, authoritative, aspirational? An effective exercise to determine the best tone for your social media persona is to build your ideal customer profile. From there, it’s easier to develop the right voice guidelines for posting, no matter who does it. 

Capture Content From Your Offices

Your social media content can come from a variety of sources, but the most authentic and engaging posts are those that come from your own company. Use real photos of what’s happening at your office rather than generic stock photos purchased online. This is especially helpful if you’re a local company or bank that has strong ties to the community.

Social media platforms are also an ideal place to showcase your community outreach events or sponsorships. Here’s a great example from Service Credit Union in New Hampshire.

credit union

They highlight a major sponsored event and encourage customers to actually participate in the upcoming Seafood Festival. 

Make Product Mentions Relevant

No matter what industry you’re in, the ultimate goal in leveraging social media is to boost your sales. In general, it’s best to keep your sales-related content at just 20% of your posts, and the other 80% dedicated to engaging, broad content.

When you do mention a product, the post should still focus on your audience, not your company. Take a look at this Facebook post sharing a blog article from Citizens Bank. 

citizen bank

When you click to the post, you’ll see a number of tips on how to budget for things like food and gas on your summer vacation. At the end, you’ll then see a call to action to open a savings account with Citizens Bank. It’s definitely a soft sell, but the point is that the reader feels like the content is about them, not closing a deal. 

Use Social Media Ambassadors

You definitely want to create a set brand persona for your company’s social accounts, but you can add an even deeper level of humanization by using social media ambassadors. This involves training a set of core, enthusiastic employees to post from their perspective.

Behind-the-scenes glimpses are incredibly popular with customers and can be very effective in building brand loyalty. Let employees in different areas post a day-in-the-life series to show what they do each and every day. They can even sign each post so followers know exactly who’s talking through the platform.

An added bonus? Not only do social media ambassadors better engage your followers, but it’s also a great way to build loyalty among your staff.  

Highlight Local Small Businesses

No matter how large or small your company is or how broad your geographic scope may be, you can utilize social media to capitalize on the “shop local” trend. Maybe you’re a business that partners with a local vendor or a bank that specializes in small business lending.

Whatever the connection may be, spotlight some of these local partners that you interact with. In addition to demonstrating your support of small businesses, it also gives you the chance to cross-post on their social accounts, giving you access to a fresh audience who could likely intersect with your ideal customer.

Integrate Giveaways

People love free stuff, and you can build a better connection by offering giveaways through your social media channels. Each channel has different rules regarding giveaways, so be sure to check those out before you post anything.

Once you have the technical details ironed out, you can then implement a giveaway, whether it’s cash, a product or service. Here’s an example from Chime Bank who did a tax-themed giveaway. 

giveaway

Not only did the giveaway promote their direct deposit service, but it also gave a $1,000 incentive to engage with their Instagram account. You don’t have to do a cash giveaway; people get excited about even the simplest giveaways solely because they have the chance to win something free. 

Address Feedback Consistently

Anytime you enter a forum for dialogue, you open yourself up to feedback. Whether negative or positive, be sure to reply to comments from customers on your posts. This shows that you’re still dedicated to the customer experience, even if there are hiccups for some people along the way.

Responding to comments on your social media posts also helps to boost that post within the feeds of your followers. The more interaction there is on a post, the better it typically ranks within platform algorithms. 

Getting Started

If you or your management team have been hesitant to get started on social media, the best first step is to simply get started. You don’t need fancy equipment; instead, brainstorm that persona and train your team on best practices for posting. Come up with a month of content ideas so that you don’t let your posting fall to the wayside.

Once you do, you’ll find that it comes more naturally and becomes engaging not only to your audience but to your marketing team as well. When that happens, you truly will have a humanized approach to social media because your followers will sense that authentic enthusiasm directly through their devices.

So what are you waiting for? Start getting social today to create a valuable (and profitable) connection with your audience.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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