You'll have more success if you treat your customers like friends, not dollars.

You’ll have more success if you treat your customers like friends, not dollars.

It’s not enough to have a lot of friends or followers subscribe to your social media channels. The number may look comforting and you may be able to brag about it, but what you’re really looking for, as a business, is the quality of followers, fans or friends.

You want engagement.

The more your customers engage with you on social media—and the more you engage with them—the more likely they are to become loyal customers.

What that means, usually, is that you shouldn’t treat your social media posts like advertising. You shouldn’t treat your content like business content. Simply put, your business should be social on social media and that means being human.

Here are a few tips:

Be funny.
It’s okay to push the envelope a bit on social media. Just be careful not to offend anyone. You’d be surprised how effective that post you’re not quite sure you should post can be. That groaner of a pun might be good enough—or bad enough, depending on your point of view—to get widely shared.

Consider this example from the Charmin bath tissue brand. They’ve embraced the inherent jokes that usually come with their product and pushed it a bit further. Too much? You decide.

Use a personal voice.
Business communication has come a long way but, let’s face it, business speak still sounds like business speak. Use a person as your brand’s profile picture, if at all possible, and use terms like ‘we’ or ‘us’ instead of your company’s name. Sometimes, even shortening a word with an apostrophe can make you sound a whole lot more human. Ya dig?

Don’t make it about you.Human2
Obviously, you’re going to want to throw in some posts that directly relate to your business. The bulk of your content, though, shouldn’t be. Share something from your feed that you, personally, found interesting or topical. Add a comment to continue the conversation. Or, throw up some random thoughts, like Old Spice did in this example. Are they brand-related? Nope. Are they shareable? Definitely.


Listen and respond like a person—and be quick about it!
When someone shares your content, thank them. Respond with a smiley face emoji or any one of the innumerable silly ones you can find. When in doubt, a simple: ‘Thanks!’ will do.

When someone mentions you negatively, jump on it the same way. You don’t have to apologize—unless you really think you were in the wrong—a simple frown emoji with a ‘We’re working on it!’ will appease many irate customers.

Those are some of our tips. What do you do to humanize your brand? Tell us in the comments!