21 Apr 5 Ways to Humanize Your Brand Using Social Media
Developing a humanized strategy for your brand doesn’t mean you need a large marketing budget – by simply adding uncomplicated elements to your current media channels, you can allow your customers to experience your brand – but most importantly – the humans behind the brand too.
Here are 5 effortless tips to help creatives humanize their corporate brand:
#1. Stop using over-produced imagery
See these stock photos?
Do you use similar, over-posed, unhumanised photos in your marketing?
Well then I would encourage you to stop. Why? Do these people directly work for you? No? Then that is why.
As such, using stock photos have become a rite of passage for any brand developer, marketer, or web designer, and if you’re in the business of digital marketing, chances are you have two (or more) paid subscriptions to a stock photo website on-hand. Yet what we sometimes forget to realize (as marketers) is that most stock photos are being utilized by another million creatives to help push their brand message.
One way to break away from the pack is utilizing your own environment as your own stock photos, and encouraging photo shoots every time you develop a marketing strategy with a brand. YOUR organization’s brand deserves high visual representation and no cookie cutter image purchased for $12 at shutterstock.com will do that. Create authentic experiences using branded photography, and if you can help it, say NO to using stock imagery.
#2. Publish photos of your team being themselves
Past the corporate values, mission statements, vision, etc., your business strives to be noticed in the public eye. People are often curious about what employees do at your organization so reinforce the corporate culture to show real photos of real people doing real things.
Sometimes the best humanized content is considered the least important, but this truly adds to a sense of community and culture. A good example of this kind of humanized element is RYDE YXE Cycle Studio. RYDE YXE is a boutique cycle studio that recently opened on Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon. The Cycle Studio’s marketing strategy heavily relies on reinforcing the community culture of their brand. Cycle Studios are indeed a thing these days and RYDE YXE taps into the ‘fit fam’ culture by reinforcing strong but candid branded content imagery depicting their community.
This humanized strategy is a fantastic way to deliver information about their instructors and trainers, and create a platform for personal branding, creating a win-win for both the brand and the employee.
#3. Promote Premium Content via Blogs
“90% of consumers find premium content useful, 78% believes that companies behind content are interested in building good relationships.” (Source: TMG Custom Media)
Building and optimizing premium content for your brand is considered useful to most consumers. No matter the industry you market for, a blog is a tested, tried and true method in getting your message across.
Blogs are fantastic at reinforcing corporate culture and delivering added value to potential customers.
For example (hypothetically), say you were hired to market and promote a local tire service shop. The question is – what would a tire shop do with a blog? This is where, as a marketer, you are challenged to think innovatively.
Just because the industry is considered lacklustre from a content perspective doesn’t mean your marketing strategy would not benefit from an uncomplicated, humanized element such as a blog.
If you’re promoting a tire service company, perhaps you start a weekly vlog (video blog) on tire maintenance, tire technology, and more. Have you ever been in a premium tire shop? Apparently there are sensors in the rubber? Cracked walnuts for grip? Who knew? Certainly not me (a potential customer!) if only there was a tire service blog so I could learn more…..
Past blogs, building and publishing content via whitepapers, eBooks, and Slideshares are also excellent resources to create awareness for your brand and increase qualified leads.
#4. Social media = the brand-human communication
Customers who have ever attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes. (Source: Convince and Convert 1)
In today’s marketplace, servicing customers is as an important facet of your marketing mix. It is crucial to engage online with those who love your brand and it is also important to engage with those who don’t love your brand as well. Whether the conversation is positive, neutral, or negative sentiment, you must engage in order to reward or teach the consumer.
For example, if you have a consumer who comes to social media to praise your brand – give thanks! It is as simple as sending a personalized tweet or Facebook post to engage with these positive sentiments. However if you have a customer who comes to social media to criticize their experience with your brand – don’t punish them! It could be a myriad of reasons that led to the bad experience.
Glenwood Auto in Saskatoon is a raving example on how to treat your customers using social media. They are profound at marketing their customer’s experiences, whether they are good or bad, and Glenwood Auto reinforces the experience of being a customer using social media. If they receive a 5 star review – they praise! If they receive a not-so-good review of a customer’s experience – they take the time to listen and then inform. Glenwood Auto is way ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering a customer service strategy as a humanized element.
#5. Write content like you didn’t hire an agency
Keeping customers emotionally engaged with your content is important. So important, in fact, that 60% of B2B marketers consider writing with emotion as a challenge (Source: Content Marketing Institute 2)
People love storytelling and marketers are getting better and better at storytelling. The trick is to come up with an entertaining narrative that doesn’t feel and sound like it was written by an expert writer that was oblivious to the topic they were paid to write about.
Sometimes you’ll come across a brand that is so rigid, their promotional is templated including their copy. Don’t be that brand! Stay authentic and tell stories that are designed to elicit particular responses, rather than reiterating your mission, vision and value statements. Though important, they are not your brand’s humanized story.
Whatever the story is, attempt to use wit in your writing, with a splash of humour, and a dash of humility to develop pulses of the brand.
So tell me, what uncomplicated ways do you humanize your marketing? Do you utilize a humanized marketing strategy in your mix?
If you enjoyed reading this, check out our latest article ‘How important is humanizing your brand?’