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Business is all about relationships.
You can have the fanciest, swankiest gadget or gizmo, or a five-star service, or a million and one competitive advantages, but if you don’t connect with your prospects, they’ll simply choose someone else – leaving you eating dust.
It’s because we humans are tribal creatures. We connect with other people – and go with whoever we feel the strongest connection with, period.
There’s only so much you can do if you lack that key, critical human element in your business’s brand. That’s why it’s incredibly important that you transform your brand into something that people can connect to, empathize with, and get.
That’s why you need to humanize your brand – and make it infinitely more approachable and, well, human.
Fortunately for you, today’s fast-paced digital world makes it easy to humanize a brand. It’s true – it’s actually easy (once you know how it’s done).
Take stories. People love stories. Just spend a few minutes on Facebook. It’s no coincidence that some of the most viral pieces of content on the Internet are all human interest stories. People love to learn about other people, mostly because we’re stimulating little creatures – but also because it makes us feel better about ourselves and the walking meat popsicles that are around us.
“But what kind of stories should I tell?” you ask. Great question – we’re glad you asked it.
You have a wealth of stories at your disposal from one incredible source: your customers.
Tell stories about your customers and your clients. Share their dreams, aspirations, and fears. Impart how they handled adversity using your product or service. Recount the epic tale of how you were able to help them excel and achieve their ambitions. Big or small, minor or major, every customer interaction you have has the potential for connection – all because you’re talking about real people with real situations.
It’s no surprise that testimonials are some of the most powerful pieces of content you can create. You can capitalize on this by sharing the successes you’ve experienced with your customers.
Humans are social creatures. We love reading and talking about other people. Life is one big soap opera, and we’re all actors in a real-life version of “Days Of Our Lives”. (Just avoid evil twins and backstabbing stepsisters.)
Social media has given us a way to connect on a human level with a vast audience, an audience teeming with people who want to see a bit of humanity come from the brands that bombard them with advertising and marketing. That’s why the most successful brands from a human standpoint are all on social media and do social media very well.
You can jump on board by being social on social media. This means you should:
– Ask questions
– Reply to comments
– Host surveys and questionnaires
– Ask for – and share – user-submitted pictures
– Profile the people on your team
– Host a contest
– Ask for – and share – user-submitted videos
– Showcase videos that highlight your customers
One recent example of a social media campaign that ties in some of the above elements and humanizes the brand was executed by AXE, the makers of the body spray that can knock out an elephant at 100 paces. Earlier this year, AXE launched its #KissForPeace campaign in support of the International Day of Peace and Peace One Day, a non-profit dedicated to world peace. AXE released a 60-second film on social media, and asked users to submit posts and pictures featuring kisses and the hashtag #KissForPeace.
AXE’s campaign is perfect because it’s simple and as human as you can get. What isn’t there to like about world peace? Plus, the user-generated content was touching. (And who doesn’t like kissing?) Also, attaching yourself to a cause or a charity gives you bonus points, especially for something that is far-reaching and inclusive.
Be social. Engage and involve. The more you have people interact with you, the more human your brand appears – and the better your relationships will be.
Humanizing a brand, as we mentioned, is actually easy. We’re all human, after all. We know what it’s like living on this giant blue merry-go-round we call Earth. We just want the same things – connection, identity, and belonging.
Focus on your customers and involve them in your outreach. Tell stories. Be involved on social media. Talk more about your customers and clients than you do yourself. It helps if you support a cause or a charity, like AXE, but it’s not required. All that is required is a dedication to putting a little bit of personality and humanity behind what you send out.
Business is all about relationships, friends. Humanize your brand, and reap the benefits.