It’s easy to forget a simple business truth in a world that is increasingly digital: people like interacting with people.

Whether it’s talking to a real human to solve an IT issue or handle a payment problem instead of navigating an automated voice maze or handling some kind of consumer complaint, there’s no substitute for a real human voice and intuition.

The internet, and many social media channels, make it easy to open up a business without owning or leasing a brick-and-mortar location. It also makes it easy for you to operate a business without technically interacting with any living soul — but that doesn’t mean you should.

When it comes to your business’ social media challenge, it’s helpful to put a face before the brand. No matter how nice your site is, or easy it is to buy products or schedule services, people will still have an inherent desire to give their business to other humans, instead of anonymous companies.

Facebook advertising, for example, is cheap and effective in getting attention to your brand. It won’t necessarily translate into a sale; the relationships you build will help you do that. The advertising can generate immediate profits, but relationships are essential if you want to build long-term success.

That’s exactly why you want to get personal with your business page. Here are some things to consider:

Tone of voice. Your business tone will vary depending on whether you operate an oil change service or a restaurant, but it should still be friendly and open. Consider creating a style guide if you have more than one employee with access to your page. Include things like use of emojis, hashtags—even contractions. You should sound consistent, no matter who is posting new content or responding to complaints.

Customer service is important. The internet in general and social media in particular has emboldened the introverts among us. People who might not be likely to raise an issue or voice a complaint in person or over the phone will have no trouble doing so on a Facebook post or in a Twitter feed, where anyone can see it.

These days, people expect to have customer service queries answered by a brand’s social media account. You’re more likely to encounter an angry customer there than anywhere else.  Be prompt and polite. Your audience is watching.

It’s all about you, not necessarily your business. Yes, you want to talk about your business and promote specials, brand campaigns and the like, just make sure that’s not all you do. When you communicate like a real human, and deliver value to people on social media without directly selling something, you build trust that eventually leads to sales.

Be open. Showcase your employees, and use candid photos. Pictures of real workers beat stock photos, hands down. Tell a little about them—or allow them to write their own profiles. Again, people like doing business with other people. If they feel like they know you and your staff, you’re more likely to earn a loyal customer.

What else do you do to get personal on your business page? Let us know in the comments!