How to use Social Media to humanise your brand

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How to use Social Media to humanise your brand
Time to read: 8 minutes
In today’s digital world, it’s easier to reach our customers than ever before. But with the huge amount of ‘noise’ out there on social media — a million other brands competing for attention — connecting with your audience is what’s difficult. This connection is what you need to truly reach them, get cut-through, and make the impact that is going to get you remembered. In this guide to humanising your brand, we’ll cover how you can do just that. But first, let’s take a look into why humanising your brand is so important.
excitemedia social profiles

The importance of humanising your brand

The ‘human touch’ is a critical element of audience engagement and connection that often falls through the cracks. (Anyone else singing the lyrics to the Spice Girls in their head after reading  ‘human touch’? Nah, us neither).

Here’s why humanising your brand is ideal 🧬

Emotional responses encourage emotion-based decision making 💚

Humanising your brand makes it easier to evoke the emotional response that helps you sell what you’re offering. Gross as that sounds, it’s true. Consumers often make decisions based on emotion rather than logic. Human content stirs emotions, which can trigger associations and responses. A bunch of our purchases are made from emotions — they’re often triggered by the need to feel cool, healthy, successful, fabulous, or fun.

Greater audience connection 📎

Humanising your brand fosters a greater sense of connection. As social creatures, we do connect and relate more with brands that have more of a human feel to them. Human is engaging to humans.

Greater credibility

Brands that feel more aligned to us are more engaging, and we trust what they say more. Why? 

Because of relatability. 

Call us all narcissistic at heart, but we do value the experiences and words of others who are ‘similar to us’ more than those who are not, because those opinions feel more relevant to us. When we know someone similar to us experiences x y z benefits from buying a particular cool thing, we think we can probably expect a similar result, and so we trust that experience. If someone not at all like us had a cool experience, we’d probably just think it was a cool story.

Sharing your story makes people root for you 🌳

Humanising your brand by sharing your story, (and the feel good vibes behind the story) helps to create a sense of loyalty and makes people want to support you. Think of the term ‘support local’, for an example. What springs to mind is likely something wholesome, like Greg, the Aussie apple farmer who works hard and cares deeply about providing the very best apples to his local market. It’s a hard slog working out in the fields all day, but he does it because he’s passionate. His father and his father’s father delivered the best apples to the region, and he’s carrying on that tradition. Of course you want to buy Greg’s apples. He’s a great guy. Now think about McDonalds. Deliciousness aside, do you care as much about ‘supporting’ a global company? The story behind the brand (and the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with it) make people want to back you. Humanising your brand is about revealing the faces, stories and culture behind the business. It’s key to establishing genuine connections with your audience that tells them you’re kind of like them, and you’re there for them.
show your team on socials

How to humanise your brand on social media 🧫

Share your story 📕

Most people love a good origin story, and sharing the ‘why’ ‘who’ and ‘what’ of your business paints the true picture of who you are.

Share social content that speaks to these things, talking about the history of your business, showcasing what makes you happiest when you work with clients, why your business was started in the first place, what your mission is now, and anything else about your journey that’s worth sharing. Don’t be afraid to go into full storytelling mode.

Be sure to highlight stories about your employees, customers, and the ways you make an impact.

Sharing your brand’s drive, values, and back-story can help you connect on many levels.

So share everything about who you are. Where you’re from. What you did… Okay, fine, we’ll stop it with the song lyric references. But how good are the Backstreet Boys, though?!

Share your people 🎳

The heartbeat within any business is its people (awww). It sounds oh so sweet, but it’s true, too. In showcasing the people behind your brand, you show that there’s more to your business than just a logo or a product. It’s even more than the story of your founder/s and their mission. It’s a group of people working together, here and now, towards a shared vision, product, project or passion. And that’s truly engaging and inspiring. Here’s a great example of a people post that shares a little about our workplace culture at Excite Media:

Show the faces of your people

People connect with people, not corporate identities. Make it a point to showcase your team members on your social media platforms, and not just their names in text, but their faces in photos and/or videos too.

The openness, honesty and transparency of showing the faces of your people creates a sense of trust and loyalty, which are essential ingredients for customer retention.

Something that we always tell our new website clients when we’re designing their websites is that the personal images have a real power. They can impact your results hugely, because they instil trust. Real people over stock images are always recommended, and people shots over product shots. For a dental clinic, a photo of a smiling dentist consulting with a smiling patient from your practice in a high-quality setting within your clinic is a great example.

It’s the same with your social media.

People like to know who they’re going to be talking to, and who it is that they are entrusting their hard-earned money with.

Here’s some examples of some ‘people’ posts we’ve done recently on social media for Excite:

excitemedia social posts

Don’t be afraid to let personalities shine through ☀️

Nothing is more human than showing the individual personalities of the people that make up your business. Especially people that your customers will likely be dealing with, the owners of your business, management, and key staff members.

Jonno

Keep it real and relatable

Loosen up a little and showcase the ‘real’ brand, people and stories of your business. Nothing should be too rehearsed, if you want it to come across as genuine and relatable.
humour on socials

Humour goes a long way 🙊

Humour is super engaging and something that will always bring connection and a sense of genuinity and realness. As long as your jokes are appropriate, they are great to share.

Post even when the jokes don’t land — this only improves the human-factor!

In a rare moment of compassion, we won’t name any names from within our own team, but certain people within Excite Media have been known to be mostly met with sighs, eye rolls, ‘unsubscribe’ messages and other similar reactions when they share their “jokes” and unique senses of humour.

But it’s this kind of dynamic that is so very human and personable. It’s relatable and it’s endearing in its own way. It also shows a whole lot of personality. Great news for the fans of ‘dad jokes’ everywhere.

Lily and Watty

Give them a behind-the-scenes look 🎬

Things that seem everyday to you can be really interesting and engaging to your audiences. They show a good insight into you, your team, and your way of doing things.

Behind the scenes content can also shed some light on the strengths you might not have even thought of promoting, like your processes, systems and tools.

Whether it’s taking shots at your next team training session or other behind the scenes insights, go for gold on these.

Share images of your team during their workday, behind-the-scenes videos of your operations, or ‘meet the team’ posts where you introduce your staff members.

One great example is what Slack does on social media. The collaboration hub often shares “a day in the life” of their employees across various roles, giving followers a peek into their day-to-day.

Showcase your workplace culture

@excitemedia

Couldn’t wait for the 2032 Olympics so we held our own ☝️🏅🏋️‍♀️

♬ It Is What It Is - Jenna Raine

Share what matters to you

Is there a cause you care about or get behind? Are there values that are particularly important to you? Share them on social media. Not only does it help to show all of those human sides to your business, but it can also help to promote these important causes and values.

For example, at Excite Media many of our team members donate to a local charity, which helps support children and youth in Sierra Leone with their growth and development. The charity is called Fig Tree Children.

By posting about the important work of this charity, we’re not only sharing an important part of our story and the causes our team cares about, but it’s also spreading the news about the great work that they’re doing.

Interact, authentically 🤝

Social media is a two-way street. Respond to comments, ask questions, and hold conversations. This level of interaction shows that real people are behind your brand, ready and willing to connect.

An example of great humanised content

This viral TokTok video from Jason Reading Landscapes is a fantastic example of on-point humanised content. Mostly due to its comedic value. It’s funny, relatable, “real” (when you read in between the lies of the tongue and cheek of it), and content + comedy gold for a brand account. This video is absolute comedy gold absolute comedy gold and a brilliant bit of humanised brand marketing.

Here’s the stats on the post

What’s great about it from a content marketing perspective

What could be improved 👷‍♀️

A sneaky reference of the business location, and another reference of the brand name at the end would be a great way to improve their results from a marketing perspective, so relevant audiences in their local area know they’re local and relevant. It would have to be super subtle though.

Looking through their account, it’s actually hard to identify within a 10 second look where these guys are based. These days, that’s probably the maximum attention span you’re working with on TikTok, even for those interested in knowing where they are from.

As TikTok is a mobile app, the need to Google them to find out if they’re in your local area (if you were in the market for a landscaper) adds an extra step that most won’t do, and requires leaving the app scroll.

Something else that would help their results would be mention of their location in their bio, maybe another in their TikTok name/handle, and definitely location references in their post content themselves (like in the text description). You can tell they’re landscapers, you can see the brand name clearly, but you can’t tell if they’re in a proximity that’s relevant to you very easily at all.

These slight tweaks would be a huge benefit to these guys, and would help them to get the most out of this huge engagement and great content.

Want more examples? Follow us on socials

At Excite Media, we’re a marketing agency with a bunch of creative people and a great work culture, that posts social media content regularly. So if you’d like more examples of humanised social media content, be sure to follow us.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get to humanising!

Our final piece of advice is to just be ‘you’. Your brand is part ‘brand voice’ or ‘brand persona’, which incorporates your company’s style of writing, tone of voice etc, and part made up of your people. Be authentic, be genuine, show the faces, people and culture of your workplace and brand, show some cool behind the scenes stuff, share your wins, history, stories and vision, and you’re sure to connect with your audiences on a human-to-human level.
Nerida Currey
AUTHOR

Nerida Currey

Copywriter
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