What makes a person purchase from a brand? Sure, factors like price or convenience play a role, and quite a significant one at that. But at the end of the day, inspiring long-term customer loyalty takes a bit more than a lucrative discount.
According to a recent survey, consumers want to purchase from brands they feel connected to. They’re looking for authenticity from companies, and they believe that social media plays a role in fostering successful buyer-seller relationships.
With these insights in mind, it’s easy to conclude that perfecting your brand’s voice could be the best way to go forward. And what better way to build strong relationships with your clients than by showing them exactly who your company is through the content distribution channels they feel most comfortable with?
So, if you’re ready to invest in your business in a way that will pay off in the long term, taking steps to humanize your brand’s social media voice might just be the best thing you can do.
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about injecting your brand with a recognizable (and relatable) personality.
Why Brand Voice Matters
If you think about the one thing that can make or break a company, it’s branding.
For most entrepreneurs, the concept should equate to core elements like purpose, mission, and values. Moreover, an organization’s success is determined by positioning activities such as identifying the ideal target audience, market research, and objective goal-setting.
But, there’s one thing you mustn’t forget. It’s that, for a branding strategy to come together, it must be driven by a distinctive identity. And the two pillars of that identity include visuals and voice.
On the whole, marketers seem to have a solid grasp of visual branding for social media. There are some proven formulas to stick to, such as:
- keeping to a predetermined color palette
- adding your logo to images
- posting a variety of multimedia formats, etc.
Following these simple rules offers excellent results both online and offline.
However, you might find defining your voice to be slightly more complicated.
The voice of a brand pertains to the personality it builds around itself. It includes the messages it communicates, the type of language it uses to do so, the level of familiarity it assumes with potential customers, the emotional impact it aims for, as well as the intended overall effect.
If you think about some of the world’s leading brands, you’ll find that they all have very distinct voices: Apple, with their “the best iPhone ever” tagline, or Old Spice’s “smell like a man, man” campaign.
And there’s a valuable lesson to learn from these campaigns. It’s that organizations can effectively impact consumers’ brand perception by adopting the right voice.
However, although you may be inspired to take all your resolution and pour it into a self-confident campaign, it might not be a good idea.
Why? It turns out that, most often, people don’t believe advertisements.
How Humanization Offers a Solution
According to the Cambridge Dictionary of English, there are three definitions of the term humanization:
- The act of “treating something [i.e., a pet] that is not human as if it is a person.”
- The “process of making something less unpleasant and more suitable for people.”
- The act of “showing that someone has the qualities, weaknesses, etc. that are typical of a human, in a way that makes you more likely to feel sympathy for them.”
And, sure, in the contexts of branding and social media marketing, the aim of voice humanization isn’t to elicit sympathy. But, the process does go a long way in helping brands communicate and connect with followers.
The right voice can help professional organizations come off as approachable and casual. Or, it can position them as a no-nonsense proponent of quality service. Moreover, it can help provide a fun structure, which drives engagement. Or even testify to their commitment to authenticity.
So, what makes social media voice humanization such a big part of running a successful business?
Well, it’s that, when done right, it will speak to your target audience. It will make them feel like they know your company. Finally, it will encourage them to do business with you based on mutual trust and shared values.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves? If the answer’s yes, these are the best strategies for humanizing your brand’s social media voice (along with examples you can look to for some inspiration).
Define Your Personality
If we know that individuality drives brand recognition and consumer relationships, then the first step towards making your brand more human has to be defining its personality.
To come up with the ideal choice, think about the following:
- How do you want your audience to perceive your brand? As inspiring? Sophisticated? Funny? Unapologetically committed to being different? Anything that comes to mind is a viable option. The point is that it’s something that’s in line with your products and services.
- What’s your competition like? Ideally, you’ll want to make your voice as distinct from theirs as possible. Not just so that you’re easily recognizable, but perhaps even more importantly, so that you’re a viable alternative for their customers still searching for the perfect product for their needs.
- What are the messages and language that will communicate your intention? Will you get the best results if you’re completely direct? Or will you do better if you find entertaining and original ways to get your idea across?
For an excellent example of a brand with a unique social media voice, you can take a look at Uber Eats’ Twitter feed. The brand’s messaging is laid back, entertaining, and, most importantly, effective at communicating with followers.
As you can see, the brand’s voice isn’t sales-y in the slightest. Instead, Uber Eats makes an effort to talk about food delivery in a way that allows its customers to feel connected to each other.
They all enjoy choosing their next meal. It’s convenient, being able to get dinner ready with just a few phone taps. Everyone loves pizza.
When people see these tweets, they don’t feel like they’re being told to buy something. They get the impression of speaking to a good friend, bonding over yet another thing they have in common.
Be Painstakingly Consistent
In addition to having a well-defined brand personality and voice, the second most impactful thing you can do is practice consistency. Don’t go putting in time and effort into making something happen, then undermining it all with a post you haven’t thought through.
A content calendar and social media scheduling tool can be powerful allies in this regard.
By having a visual overview of your present and future feed, you can double-check that your voice is consistent, that you’re staying true to your mission and values, and that you’re creating content that resonates with your audience.
Moreover, you can follow, in real-time, what type of messaging works and ensure that you’re giving your potential clients more of what they love and appreciate.
For a great example of a brand ensuring that their voice is consistent throughout their platforms, you can check out Esthetics Center.
With the brand’s slogan being “Live confidently,” its media marketing team is doing a great job of communicating that message in as many ways as possible.
From sharing posts explaining facial asymmetry to those encouraging self-love and self-care, Esthetics Center’s voice is perfectly on-brand. And, it’s sending the message: embrace your looks but don’t be afraid to take charge if there’s something you’re not satisfied with.
Be Proud of Your Humans
Did you know that consumers recognize brand employees as some of the main contributors to a positive shopping experience (and the reason to buy again)? Well, if you didn’t, you do now. And not just that, but you can use this piece of information to make your brand’s voice more personal.
For one, there are very few ways to make your brand seem more human than, well, showcasing a human. Whether that’s sharing a message to welcome your latest hire on LinkedIn as HavocShield does or signing a social media response to a customer with the name of the customer service representative who composed it.
But that’s not all you can do. If you’ve chosen to create a brand mascot, you can make them a (human-like) spokesperson for your company as well.
Several NHL teams chose to add puppies to their teams in 2019, including Tampa Bay Lightning.
Their mascot, named Bolt, “used” social media to keep hockey fans in the know about what was happening with the team. The pup also “shared” information about the causes the Bolts supported and “posted” wholesome content that hockey fans could enjoy and engage with.
We know that consumers don’t appreciate advertising. And, we have their feedback that they want to support brands that are honest and genuine. Therefore the best way you can humanize your brand is to practice open and honest communication, no matter what.
After all, isn’t imperfection the one universal trait all humans share? So what could make you more relatable than showing your work process, acknowledging both the highs and the lows?
For example, if you’re experiencing production or shipping delays, say so on your feed. Explain why, share what you’re doing about it, and, if applicable, offer a solution to anyone affected.
This simple message from Mr. Beast is an excellent example of how you can go about it.
Of course, admitting mistakes (however human) is not the only way to humanize your brand’s voice through transparency. You can also employ your social media profiles and original content to share your organization’s chief practices with your users.
In the following video, ISTO found an original way to convey the idea of recycling scrap fabric into environmentally-friendly garments.
By displaying each visual twice and describing exactly how the materials are reused, ISTO managed to explain the process of making a t-shirt out of recycled cotton. And that’s something that the brand’s target audience will definitely want to know more about.
When it comes to marketing, there’s one strategy that has been successfully used for decades (if not centuries): storytelling.
Unsurprisingly, creating narratives is a recipe for connection. It allows brands two key things – to achieve an emotional impact and to add a touch of humanity to their story.
To use storytelling for humanizing your brand’s voice, you can share a bit of your history. Describe the circumstances that drew you to go into business. Or you can talk about the consumer problems that inspired you to come up with a product. You can even address market gaps that you recognized as an opportunity to do something you found relevant and impactful.
Storytelling on social media doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, it can be almost anything.
You could post a behind-the-scenes look at the production process for your latest product. For example, Italian Shoe Factory uses this storytelling technique to bring their products (and their benefits) closer to potential customers. They explain in detail each procedure its craftsmen use in the creation process.
The results are not just visually stunning. They also serve as an effective way for the brand to highlight the work that goes into making its product and the value the customer gets.
Or, you can compose a thoughtful caption, like the one used by GetSafe. The brand chose to approach its target audience with empathy, doing its best to provide them with valuable information they would find helpful.
Whichever of these storytelling methods you decide to choose, make sure that your content provides value – either in the form of advice, information, or entertainment – and use it to make your organization more approachable.
Let Your Audience Drive the Conversation
Last but not least, when trying to make your brand more approachable, don’t allow yourself to shy away from engaging with your social media followers. After all, social networks are spaces people visit to keep up with the current events, find entertaining content, and engage with other users.
So, if you can have a conversation with them within that space, you’re well on your way to graduating from being a faceless company to an organization they feel connected to.
For one, you can let your customers do the talking.
Ultimate Meal Plans has a great way of enriching its feed with valuable content (in the form of recipes) and social proof.
By sharing reviews its customers have left on its website, the brand is positioning itself as trustworthy. All the while, it is ensuring that its followers understand that it offers an excellent solution for anyone interested in healthy eating.
Alternatively, you can employ social listening tactics and join in on conversations related to your industry.
If people who belong to your target audience are talking about your industry (or competitors), why not reach out? Especially if they were asking for help or advice (and you’re qualified to give it).
Over to You
As you can see, there’s no single way of humanizing your brand’s social media voice. Finding the perfect way to be unique, relatable, and an attractive prospect for your target audience takes planning, creativity, and agility.
However, do it right, and you’ll be golden. Because, in the end, being a brand with a likable personality and rapport with their clients isn’t just a way to boost followers and likes. More importantly, it’s a way to make people believe in you and to build your base of loyal customers.