Posted by Jen
As a brand, I know the most natural instinct is to showcase your products, services, and every detail behind each one — but there’s a time and place for everything. When it comes to social media, sometimes just selling isn’t going to sell.
There’s a lot of psychology behind our behavior on social media and it’s important to understand what your target audience gravitates to. Overall as humans, we tend to behave the same way on social networking sites. At the end of the day, everybody wants to connect to the human behind the brand, not the brand itself.
Give “Exclusive” Content
There’s nothing wrong with being professional, but adding some personality to your brand will bring color to your black and white sales campaign. One thing that people all suffer from on social media is FOMO, which for you boomers who are reading this, means “fear of missing out”. Nobody likes feeling left out and because of this, sharing fun and exciting experiences will attract an audience. Had a company event? Working on an exciting project? Post about that. Make your followers and whoever discovers you feel like they’re getting “behind-the-scenes” content. Make them feel special and hit them with something exclusive.
Show Human Emotions
You can always tell the tone of a person by the way their words are written even if you can’t see or hear them. Humanize your brand by showing actual human emotions. It doesn’t have to be intense, but showing a little humor, sympathy, excitement, and even passion will help people see your brand as a person instead of just a name.
“Marketing is a storytelling process where the story must develop fast in order to be engaging.”
Tell A Story
Everyone has a story and if you have a good one, you should definitely tell it. How it all started; your humble beginnings. Get your audience to really become invested in the name and understand the meaning behind it. When people create an emotional connection with something, it tends to stick with them for the sake of what it means to them rather than how big the name is.
Staying relevant is another important thing in social media today. If no one can connect to your content, don’t count on any engagement. One way to do this is by searching what’s trending on Google Trends, or even see what’s happening on Twitter. If there’s any way you can connect your content to a big trend with personality, it’ll show your audience that you’re a brand that wants to connect with them and not just all about your own name.
Engage With Your Audience
If you (or your social media manager) has enough time, engaging with your audience is another significant factor in receiving that engagement back. There’s a number of ways you can do this and I suggest giving them all a try to see what works best with your specific audience. The first thing is to start utilizing stories, especially on Instagram. Because they disappear in 24 hours, it’s a lot easier to put anything out there without “messing up your feed”. You can post videos around the office and show what a typical workday is like for your brand. This ties in with the “behind-the-scenes” content I mentioned earlier. Another cool thing you can do is to repost someone else’s story (or post) into your own story. Let’s say someone featured your product or service on their Instagram. By reposting to your brand’s story and giving them a shout-out, you close that gap between consumer and company and show everyone that you can be reached and are responsive.
A simple way of starting conversations is to like and comment on your audience’s posts. Give them a thank you or a way to contact you should they have any issues with an order. You can also engage with their content that has nothing to do with your brand. Comment on their photo-taking skills, their outfit, etc. and you instantly humanize your brand and show you’re not just a bot. Nothing says authenticity in a brand when you have real conversations with real people.
If you want to reach for engagement, post a poll on your story. In case you haven’t tried this, it’s posting any image or video to your story and adding the “poll” widget. Here you can ask a “yes or no” question or a “this or that” question. Maybe you have a new product line coming out? Put out a poll on what color palette you should use next or have them guess what the new product is. Regardless if you take the results into actual consideration, you’re giving your audience that feeling of empowerment. They’ll feel like they have a voice for the brand they love (and it also gives you free potential ideas and feedback for previous and future work). Host an AMA or “ask me anything” session on your story to boost your relevance and also establish social proof for your company.
At the end of the day, staying true to your brand’s name and what it stands for will make it human in itself. Understanding your audience and how to speak to them will just make things easier. By humanizing your brand, you’ll get much closer to meeting that connection and building trust by your name.