Today, it is not enough to just have a great product. You have to humanize your brand and create lasting relationships among your consumer base.
Aliza Licht, SVP of Global Communications at Donna Karen, humanizes the brand brilliantly. She is the woman behind DKNY PR GIRL on Twitter and has managed to make the DKNY brand feel like an actual person. I found myself wanting to buy every piece of DKNY clothing, even though she sometimes talks more about ABC’s Scandal than the actual brand. Still, she has cultivated a loyal DKNY online community of close to 500,000 followers. In a recent TEDxTalk, Licht addresses “The Power of Being Real.” She says that the people she interacts with on Twitter are not followers, but friends. These friends embraced her when she revealed her true self on Twitter, despite her fears of being rejected. The fact that she was a real and not just a brand resonated with her followers.
Being real doesn’t just apply to us, it applies to all businesses. The human touch is more powerful and compelling than most ads you will find out there. First off, we know consumers look and listen more to their peers when it comes to making a purchase decision than the brand itself. By humanizing your brand, you become more of a peer among your consumers, thus more influential.
So you’re on Facebok, but every brand belongs on Twitter. Twitter is your new BFF, no matter what industry you’re in. Turn up the romance and start getting cozy with this social network. Once you’ve lit the fires of love, develop a set personality for your brand. After all, every human has one and so should you. Social Media Today poses these questions: Who are you? What are you? Are you serious? Are you funny? Are you a combination of both? What is the tone of your conversations? The tone of your educational material? Social media is not for those who want to remain hidden in the shadows like an over-hyped vampire. It welcomes every person on the social network to come on it and see you at face value. You are exposed to the online world and you cannot hide. A set personality that best reflects your brand is your ultimate asset and weapon.
According to Social Media Today, Jon Iwata, Senior Vice President (Marketing and Communications) at IBM, stated, “We don’t try to manage the IBM brand. We try to manage our character as a business. And we’ve never defined IBM by what we’re selling.” Being human yourself, do you only talk about your business? Probably not. You shouldn’t do this with your brand either. For example, JonO is the epitome of a BzzAgent- chatty, informative and influential.
On Twitter and Facebook, JonO is an actual person but he still represents our brand. He mostly posts quirky and unique tidbits of information, but that’s exactly how we are here! With 90,000 “Likes ” on the BzzAgent Facebook page, JonO has 8,300 people talking about BzzAgent right now. That’s over 9%, and that’s often up around 15%. It’s an amazing level of engagement considering AdAge reports that brands only see about 1.3% engagement on Facebook. Obviously, you will need to talk about your business on social media, but adding those off topic pieces allows you to be more human and connect to your audience in a different way like JonO has.
The relationships that result from humanizing your brand are one of the most important products from this process. Cultivating relationships with your consumer base can lead to long-term loyalty and sales. Social Media Today wants you to remember that real people are behind those Facebook posts and Twitter handles. Engage with your consumers everyday. Respond to tweets inquiring about something or just to thank the person for showing their loyalty. The connections you make with your consumers now will be a valuable asset for the future.
Humanizing your brand is the next step you need to take in social media. Become not only a brand to your consumers, but a friend.