You Need to Humanize Your Brand
"The only thing that separates you from your competitors is how much more humanized your brand is."
This quote by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has never been truer than it is today. Consumers are looking for a company they can relate to and empathize with. They want to know what's going on behind the scenes, who the employees are, and what makes the company tick. People want to feel connected to the brand and that their purchase is supporting something they care about. So how can you make sure that your brand is relatable and engaging your target audience with authenticity?
Be true to yourself
It sounds cheesy, but being true to who you are as a person and a company is integral to creating an authentic brand-to-consumer experience. People want to engage with brands that give them a sense of comfort and understanding, so being open and upfront about your vision and mission will draw potential customers in.
If your company is run by quirky creatives, your brand should feel quirky and creative. Or if you and your employees are strict professionals with a non-nonsense attitude, your brand should feel the same. Trying to create a brand that doesn't actually reflect your personality and values will come across as insincere and inconsistent.
Tell, don't sell
Consumers have gotten really good at spotting an ad. In fact, the average adult sees 3,000 to 20,000 ads and brand messages per day. They've also gotten really good at tuning them out, scrolling past them, and deleting them from their inboxes.
So, instead of treating social media channels like a billboard in Times Square, you should focus on providing value to your readers. Give them useful information, share content they'd find interesting, and be sincerely interested in getting to know your consumers.
By offering engaging content that provides information they want to know (not information you want to tell them), your audience trusts you and the "they're trying to sell me something" radar stops beeping at them. Your goal for social media is not to sell to consumers, it's to build a community of consumers who trust you and share your content.
Lift the curtain
Your audience wants to see what's going on behind the scenes of your business. They want you to lift the proverbial curtain and let them see what a day in the life of your company looks like. Who works there? What does your environment look like? What goes into the services/products you provide? You don't have to run a live feed 24/7 of your workspace, but a glimpse now and then of the inner workings goes a long way toward fostering consumer trust and relationship.
Photos of your team on the website. Staff features on social media. Shots of product creation or service performance while it's happening. These are all things your consumers will be willing to click on and engage with. A little window-shopping goes a long way toward building awareness and interest.
Engage, engage, engage
With 2.14 billion people shopping online and 63% of all shopping occasions beginning online, your web presence is paramount to success. Your website and your social media are essentially your storefront and your lobby. And consumers expect engagement. Simply put, people want to do business with people, not computers.
"It's so important to be real on social media. People are interacting with brands online more than ever before, but they can tell when it feels like you're not being genuine." - Johnathan Dane, founder of KlientBoost.
A study by Sprout Social, a social media software company, found that "97% of people surveyed said they were likely to follow a business on social media if the brand had engaged with them personally."
To make the most of your social media audience, engage in two-way conversations. Do not simply post ads or sell products/services. Let people know who you are, what you stand for, and why they should follow you. Ask questions and provide information that makes your audience want to respond--and then make sure you respond to them!
Show gratitude to those who engage with your posts and you will find they do it more often! Social media thrives on community and without a sense of involvement, many users may simply leave. Thank them for their interest and provide the necessary feedback to keep the conversation going.
Every time someone retweets, likes, or comments on your post, "thank" them. Thanking lets people know you appreciate them and the investment of their time in engaging with you.
Feature clients and partners that you are grateful to work with. Shout out the accomplishments of other business owners in your community. Building a culture that communicates gratitude will keep your community interested in what's going on at your business.
These are just a few of the many ways you can humanize your brand with authenticity. We hope this post has helped you think about how to give people behind-the-scenes views, engage them in dialogue, and show gratitude for their time on your website or social media platforms. If it's been hard for you to figure out what works best for your business, don't hesitate to reach out. Our team is here to help!