Humanizing Your Brand

People buy from people – we know this. Take the opportunity to humanize your brand and build foundations to nurture trust and loyalty. Simply creating accounts is not enough. We all enjoy the human touch and conversations. We are not science experiments, sterile metrics or robots. We are thoughtful engaging humans who want to be valued and heard.

We are inundated daily with all sorts of tools and ideas of what we should do and how we should do it, seemingly a little clinical at times. Reach out; personalize the conversation. “Just be nice, take genuine interest in the people you meet, and keep in touch with people you like. This will create a group of people who are invested in helping you because they know you and appreciate you.” Guy Kawasaki.

You don’t want to be ignored when you shop at a store or dine at a restaurant. You want to be greeted. You want to be welcomed. When I first moved to North Carolina I needed some furniture. I was not only empowered with my move but so excited to furnish my apartment. Upon walking into a local establishment, I saw 5-6 sales people milling about. I wasn’t greeted. I wasn’t asked if I wanted help. No one seemed to notice me.

I never went back AND I of course tweeted to them about their horrific lack of service. The point is, whether offline or in the digital world, pay attention to your followers. “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” Jeff Bezos.

Think about what impresses you most about the brands and companies you follow? What sets them apart from the competitors?

How can you scoop up some market share and humanize your brand?

  1. Engage your followers in conversations. This is SOCIAL media. “Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” David Alston.
  2. Show authentic interest in their business and their lives. Sincerity drives rapport.
  3. Focus on relationships. Sure it can be a numbers game but quality is better than quantity. I would rather have four quarters than 100 pennies. “Activate your fans, don’t just collect them like baseball cards.” Jay Baer.
  4. Listen and respond to industry related issues. We all like to have a voice.
  5. Follow up and respond to all messages. It is common courtesy and good business.
  6. Have a personal picture of yourself. Let them look into your eyes and see YOU not a graphic.
  7. Provide introductions to other followers. Introductions are powerful tools – it says I know who you are, what interests you and who is important in your network.
  8. Promote other people’s content. Self-promotion should be a smaller portion of your content marketing. Random acts of kindness is paying it forward. It is always a nice surprise to see your own content shared by other thought leaders. “Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” Matt Goulart.
  9. Reshare your follower’s posts. A retweet is once again sharing the love and showing that you are listening and following.
  10. Show your human side. Your passions, failures, successes. Isn’t this what helps bring people closer together? It isn’t a weakness to share such details, but a strength to show your vulnerabilities as well as your dreams.
  11. Share your expertise on trending topics. Your knowledge is wanted and needed. Solve problems and inspire others to think deeply. Think value not “me me” fluff.
  12. Encourage feedback from your community. Asking questions and cultivating responses shows you value their input.
  13. Set up keyword alerts. Follow industry chatter, hashtags and your brand. Respond accordingly. Following the conversation and being able to troubleshoot promotes you as an attentive brand manager.

Be THAT company, THAT person, that you want to buy from.

“Today people don’t trust companies. One of the things marketers want to do is to humanize their brand. What better way to do it than put a live person in front of them?” Jackie Huba.

What steps do you take to humanize your brand?