It would probably come as a surprise to you if we told you that a lot of social media posts out there do not really cater to a human audience. Yup, even if the specific social media channel used to publish the piece of content is 100% human, a lot of brands make the mistake of thinking about non-human things – algorithms, keywords placement, and keyword density, among other things. They forget that for their content to work, it’s not just about making sure it’s easily searchable. They also have to make sure that once found, any human would stay and read it all throughout, and possibly, follow the call-to-action presented.
So how do you make sure your social media posts are meant for humans?
Use a friendly voice (no matter how serious your business is).
Most of the time, financial companies would be the most notorious for boring people to death with their content. But GEICO Insurance has changed the game with the GEICO Gecko, the company mascot. They definitely have posts about the Gecko loving grilled cheese, but it’s tough to find anything that directly promoted their products anywhere on their social media profiles.
How does this all work? Whether you’re talking about your products or not, when you inject humor and make your posts seem like daily conversations any random person would have with friends, they start to see your brand as a part of their peer network. It’s not just some random page they clicked on because they needed something now – this means that they would only hide you from their feed later on.
Stop talking about YOU.
Have you ever had friends or acquaintances that incessantly talked about themselves? I bet you avoided the person like a plague. That’s the same reaction you’ll get if you use the same approach on your social media pages.
Stop talking about yourself and start talking about your audience. Instead of saying “These are our amazing products”, say “These are your needs” (and make sure you do thorough research on what their needs actually are. Instead of saying, “We are the best”, say “You are important”.
Respond like a real person.
Social media is never a tool for one-way communication. It’s biggest appeal ever since it first started to grow big as a marketing channel is its ability to make room for actual conversations where both parties listen and respond.
Don’t waste this capability. Make it a point to respond to queries and comments. Did you get positive reviews? Thank the people who gave them. Did you get negative comments? Thank them for their feedback. Are people following up on their orders? Instead of giving generic answers, start giving heartfelt ones that show them you’re taking care of things.
Welcome user-generated content.
It’s hard to remove the impression that every single one of your posts is marketing-centered. But when you start posting actual content from actual users, you start showing people that this is not a show. You actually believe that what your audiences have to say is important that you’re leaving room for them on your profiles.
Show what’s going on behind the scenes.
It could be your boss throwing a ball around his office while he ponders on your new brilliant idea, or you and your colleagues goofing around over lunch. People often think that the people behind brands are robots, going through steps 1 to 10 in seamless fashion, never blinking and never looking up. You have to make them realize that you’re humans too, and as you work hard in giving them the solution to their needs, you also go through a few light moments, and a couple of tough ones as well.
Know the value of reciprocity.
A lot of marketers make the mistake of expecting audiences to give them something first before they give something back. Oh, they have to pay our membership fee first before they can have access to every single one of our content. They’d have to give us their contact information before they can receive our amazing e-book. Although this is all fair, where’s the part where you give first so that they can give something back?
Reciprocity works both ways, so make sure you give them something first, too. This is where quality content comes in. Give them access to an excerpt from your e-book before demanding for their contact details. Have some free-for-all content that would convince them to upgrade to the exclusive collection. Knowing that they get something before and after they give something back will always result in a win-win situation.
Don’t always go for perfection.
We’re not telling you to dismiss grammar and spelling errors. All we’re saying is that you can use some slang and popular expressions without ruining your professional image. Don’t just use images that could fit on the cover of some upscale magazine. Throw in some photos that you took from your phone, or some good stock photos you saw somewhere.
When everything is too perfect, people may stare in awe, but it also lessens the connection somehow.
Go out there and start making those social media posts more human. This is the only way for you to remove any walls and barriers between you and your audience, actually making you one of them.