Operating a brand via social media takes a lot of time and dedication. Your goal is to reach a lot of people while simultaneously putting a good face to your brand.
You want to grow your business in multiple facets, from your bottom line to your overall reputation. This not only takes commitment and an intelligent approach to marketing, but it also requires you to bepersonal in your branding.
A humanized brand is a fan-friendly brand. Showing that there are actual people behind that page and in charge of your company will make you a lot more appealing to a lot more people. Here are some tips on how you can humanize your branding efforts.
1: Work on Engaging Material & Promote Discussion
Reaching out and engaging with your audience should be your goal if you want to come across as more personal. Influencing sharing, encouraging comments and feedback, asking people for their opinions – these are things that come across as fan-friendly, making people feel as if they’re a part of your brand. They get to know you.
2: Respond to People Directly
Folks want to engage with you, but you have to engage them back. When you respond to people directly, you’re treating them with respect and showing that your brand has a persona.
As Gary Vaynerchuk once said, “Answer every single email and every single comment on your blog for the rest of your freaking life.”
I also make an effort to reply to nearly all my emails, though as many of you know this can not always be a reality.
3: Be Visual
Take advantage of photos (see my sidebar & about page) and videos (see my TED talk) to show people a lot more about your brand. Behind-the-scenes glimpses of office life might seem boring to you, but they’re a window into the world of your business to outsiders. The same goes with different events and gatherings.
4: Show Transparency
Figuring out what it is that your brand represents and what your business does may be interesting to your audience. Remaining transparent allows people to actually know about your brand rather than knowing of it.
5: Add a Blog
Another great way you can show a very personal side is to create a blog and link it within your network. This can be a business-based blog, but the content on it can deal with a more personal side of your dealings, such as expansions, news about employees, updates, and anything else that gives people a peek through the curtain.
6: Participate in the Experience
Facebook & LinkedIn have different groups, events and other social features that you should join to allow the human element to show through. It doesn’t mean that you have to be an active participant in the group (though this is recommended), you just have to show your willingness to network in a social atmosphere. Others will find you if are there, not so much if you’re not!
As an example I provide a Facebook fanpage, personal profile, aLinkedIn Group and subscribe to multiple pages and groups within these platforms. I don’t participate in all of them but they do show up on my profiles as be associated with them.
7: Have a Solid Identity
Speaking with one consistent voice is something that’s important for your social media marketing strategy. When you think about a personal, humanized brand, you should be thinking about the business coming across as if an actual person is operating it, not as if there’s a system back there just churning out material based on freshly mined data.
8: Move Past the Product
Your main goal as a business is obviously to move a product or service, but you cannot allow this to be your primary focus. Once people are actually in the funnel, you can worry about advertising and sinking the hook. For branding purposes, it’s about appealing to a niche, not about selling to one.
9: Add a Personal Touch
Believe it or not, it’s very easy to add a personal touch to your advertising. You can find a lot of personal data on sites like Facebook & LinkedIn, and you can target specific users. Taking the time to send someone a personal message, or even being personal with your fans in a group message, shows a lot of character. Using names helps a lot too.
10: Put the Effort In
If you’re using sites like Twitter and Facebook to post a lot of content, make sure that you’re actually putting the effort in torelease quality content. Content that looks like it was spewed out of an automation machine is material that’s likely to be ignored or looked at unfavorably by fans.