In a world where so much of our communication occurs online rather than face-to-face, it’s never been more important for Inbound marketing companies, and businesses at large, to effectively communicate with their customers and solve their problems. Many corporate social media accounts radiate “corporate babble,” and reek of automation and impersonality. They try to speak to everyone and therefore, their messages do not reach anyone in particular who authentically cares. Cultivating a human touch within a company’s social media interactions will give it a spark and authenticity that is sorely missing from most business programs. Automation tools have helped companies push out more content, but for some, it has also harmed their programs.
An authentic, personal touch on social media can help build brand, convert leads into clients, and improve customer service. The process of building authenticity into a social media presence starts with an understanding that social media is personal. It is very much like meeting someone face-to-face and having a conversation, only in this case, the conversation occurs digitally.
Brand Building Through Social Media
Professional posts that are helpful and insightful begin the process of building credibility and contribute to building trust. And trust is the key ingredient to building a brand that stands the test of time. Posts and updates should be focused on customer pain points, and be as helpful as possible.
Successfully humanizing a businesses social media account relies on taking part in real conversations. If a business has a Twitter or Facebook account but no followers, no real evidence of authentic conversations, it is missing the main point of social. Social media has reached an inflection point wherein a large majority of the population is familiar with it, and has used it to at least some degree. Most users these days, look past the bio and look for real conversations—not just automated updates.
It is important to answer questions. What makes answering questions online human? Real conversation. Much the same as if two people were sitting across the table from one another in a business meeting and one asked a question while the other person ignored them. The lack of response would feel rude and leave a bad impression. The same rules apply for creating an authentic social media presence online. Questions ignored leave a bad impression.
Social Media Converts Leads
Converting leads virtually or in real life is a process of establishing credibility by answering questions and providing value to prospects long before they become clients. On social media, just like in real life, value starts with listening. There is a conversation taking place on social media and it is important that businesses pay attention to the conversation and take part in it in a meaningful way.
Social Media Can Improve Customer Service
Social media, especially Twitter, can be an excellent customer service tool. If handled correctly, they add to the brand promise and are an easy way for prospects to find case studies showcasing excellence.
Social media is a real time medium. It is happening right now and brands that get it wrong usually miss the time factor. When done inadequately, social media can cause great damage to a brand. Earlier this year, Amtrak had one such failure, (The Biggest Social Media Failure of 2016) that damaged their brand; it’s a perfect case study in how NOT to handle social media, and the danger of not being part of the conversation in real time. They responded 7 months late to a serious issue and caused a Twitter uproar that they are still recovering from. All it would have taken for this not to blow up so terribly (though admittedly, because the response was so late, it was bound to get some flack) was an appropriate response in real time.
Humanizing a business is largely about creating and cultivating a personalized persona—in this case, online. For Amtrak, the entire aforementioned interaction blew up in their face because the persona they created for themselves seemed insensitive; as an onlooker—an essential voyeur on social media—it was difficult to consider them as anything except horribly unaware.
Always keep in mind that even though social media is taking place in front of the masses, it is still, essentially, a one-on-one virtual conversation. Try to think of it in the same way as an email addressed from one person to another wherein the sender signs off using their own name. In all likelihood, they will reply with an equally personal response in a timely manner.
Humanizing a brand’s presence online will allow it to establish significantly more personal and customized relationships with potential customers. And if done correctly, adding a personal touch will generate more website traffic, attract Inbound links, and convert more leads. Consumer culture lives on the Internet, and if a business doesn’t at least try to do so in a human and realistic manner, too, the wellbeing of their brand is likely to suffer. Increasing a brand’s personalization on social media will improve brand awareness, drive leads, and help retain happy customers. Why not try it for yourself? Just be ready for massive improvement in engagement.
Can-Do Ideas is a Digital Marketing agency specializing in Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales. We are located in New York City and Connecticut.