Six Ways to Show the Human Side of your Brand on Social Media

The clue’s in the name – social media marketing should first and foremost be ‘social.’ 

People want to feel a connection to others with authentic content that feels inspiring, informative and crucially, human. In essence, they want to engage with other people, not brands. 

The key to seeing success on social media, therefore, is to put humans (your customers and your employees) at the heart of your marketing strategy. 

A purpose-driven business has a head start when it comes to creating more human-centric content. Your commitment to a bigger goal is a powerful USP that can supercharge your efforts and ensure you stand out from the crowd on social. 

Presenting the human side of your brand will simply amplify your mission whilst building trust and emotional connections with your audience. 

Sound good? Read on for our six top tips for developing a strategy focused on humanising your brand. 

Use Video 

We know you’ve heard it a million times – video marketing is the most important element of any social media strategy. That’s because it’s supremely powerful, and if you’re on a mission to humanise your business, then video is everything.

One of the most powerful ways to utilise video is by giving your followers behind-the-scenes content that paints a picture of your business and your people; a video walk-through, a personal introduction or a behind-the-scenes tour is a great way to do this. 

Remember, these don’t need to be slick, highly produced videos, most phone cameras can capture brilliant footage nowadays, and a more informal approach to production (so long as it’s not too scrappy) will help with your efforts to make your social presence more human. 

And who should be featured in these videos, you ask? Well, that leads us nicely to our next point… 

Shine the spotlight on your employees

What better way to show the human side of your company than to put some focus on the people behind your brand?

Think about it, would you be more likely to engage with a logo or a face on your own social media feed? 

Social media allows you to bring your employees’ voices to life and gives your customers the chance to put a face to a name. This is a powerful asset – most customers will react best when they are able to know who they’re speaking with. 

Showing the faces of your team allows customers to connect with your brand on a deeper level, giving them a good idea of whether or not your brand’s values line up with their own. 

Content could include photos at team events or get-togethers, or behind-the-scenes tours led by an employee. This is a great way to get your staff to contribute to your content – encourage them to get involved; their personality will shine through if they can bring their own ideas to the table, and it will help them feel more valued and engaged with your company as well.

Research shows that consumers are increasingly preferring to do business with actual humans than faceless companies, so now is the time to let your employees shine online!

Sell less (yes, really)

One of the most important things to remember when humanising your brand is to take your foot off the ‘sell, sell, sell’ pedal and ease into a more gentle gear that prioritises great content over winning business. 

It may be tempting to shout from the rooftops about how great your service is, but your content should not be a glorified sales pitch to your followers. Instead, focus on the foundations of your brand – trust, integrity, reliability – selling the values at the heart of your business should be what captivates your follower’s interest.

Keep it chatty

One of the most crucial ways you can humanise your brand is through the language you use. 

Using industry slang, formal sentences, and third person tense are all big no-no’s. Social media is about creating dialogue and building those all-important personal relationships, so keep things light and breezy, and don’t be afraid to write as you speak. 

Some good advice is to act like you’re talking to your neighbour, be informal (but polite) and crucially – be human. Remember, you are not a robot! 

Use follower content

We know it’s all well and good for us to spout on about what kind of content will humanise your brand, but creating that content can take a lot of time. 

We get it. 

So, here’s an idea for the time-strapped – share your follower’s content. You can’t get a better endorsement than an enthusiastic Twitter post from a happy customer or an Instagram story from your biggest client. It also works wonders for making you seem human by centring on real-life human experiences.

Embrace storytelling

Want to show the human side of your business? Then tell your story. 

Storytelling is such a buzzword right now, and brands are getting smarter about how it can work for them on social media. It’s also a fantastic way to humanise your social feeds and build emotional connections with your followers.

How did your company start? Perhaps your founder was in a dead-end job and needed more purpose in their life; perhaps it’s a family business that has been passed down through the generations. Every business is made up of humans, and therefore every business has a human story. 

Your job is to tell it. 

The Human Touch 

Approaching the job of humanising your online brand may seem daunting, but so long as you keep a people-centric focus, you’ll likely find the job of creating content becomes much easier. 

Just remember to keep humans front and centre, be it your customers, your employees or other advocates. 

You’ll find that creating relatable and consistent human-focused messaging will not only grow your business but will also boost engagement as well.

Good luck, and remember that human touch!

5 Minutes with John Ashton

John Ashton spent his time writing for national newspapers and authoring books before coming up with an idea for a company in 2012 that put his talents to exceptionally good use.

Write Arm is a flexible writing resource for marketers. They provide companies with writers when they need them to create any type of written content – from exquisitely crafted straplines to blogs, scripts and books.

In 2020 he set up The KitchenTable Community, which is a peer-to-peer support community and marketplace for the owners and would-be owners of small creative agencies.

We spoke to John Ashton to find out more about the company, and to get his top tips on brilliant copywriting.

Hi John, thanks for chatting with Colour Me Social! What inspired you to start Write Arm?

I started the company in 2012 – I was thinking at the time, what’s my next career move? I thought about becoming a freelance writer again and I realised I wanted to build something bigger and flexible and more of the moment.

I hadn’t worked in the marketing world before then, so I knew nothing of it. I just took the plunge, with no idea whether it would float or not, but it did – much to my amazement and delight!

We started with just a small handful of writers; more and more have found us along the way, and we go out and find writers too – we’ve got scores of them now!

How do you work with businesses?

We do everything with the written word – broadly it breaks down into two types: on the one hand you’ve got content marketing such as articles, whitepapers, case studies, e-books; the other side is creative copywriting, things like static web copy, brochures and email sequences – anything that has a more overt marketing function than content marketing.

What type of businesses do you work with?

Anything from a small SME to multinational giants – we’ll work with any sizes of business, but we prefer to work with those with a marketing department. We work in numerous sectors; the ones that have been particularly strong for us have been tech, financial services and HR/recruitment.

What’s the motivation for businesses to come to you?

It’s very often the case that they just don’t have the resources internally. We work on an ad hoc basis, we don’t tend to charge retainers, which works for us because the clients don’t need us all the time. They often have people in-house who do some of the writing, but then they just get swamped.

What would you say are the main challenges you see your clients facing when it comes to content and copywriting?

The chief challenge is finding the right person to do the work. There are millions of freelancers out there but actually sourcing them and managing them is the real challenge. We’ve got where we are today by answering that need, by solving that problem.

How has your business changed in the Covid-era?

Well, we’ve always been remote. That’s the beauty of Write Arm. The staff work remotely, as do I, and all the writers work remotely. So we were geared up for it.

At the start COVID, everything went quiet for a week, but then it got very, very busy, and we’ve never been busier. I think it’s largely a legacy of working in tech – so many tech niches are buoyant at the moment, and we’re a beneficiary of that.

What’s your top tip for brilliant copywriting?

Great copywriting has to spell out the benefits of a product or service. Or if it’s not a product or service, then drive the message in a way that appeals to the heart, the head, and do so in as few words as possible.

Finally, what advice would you offer to small business owners to help them tell their story?

Invest in copy – it can make all the difference.