How to humanise your brand on social media

People connect with people. With the focus of building strong brand-consumer relationships, brands must adopt human attributes and personality traits that shine through all aspects of their social media activity. Though not always an easy feat, we must strive to portray our brand personality as natural – we want our audience to feel as though they’re conversing with a real person and not a corporate machine.

Why is humanising my brand on social media so important? 

Humanising helps to tell your brand story. As humans, we’re constantly storytelling. When we share our stories and lived experiences, others feel compelled to relate with their own stories. Being a personable brand means you can join in with your brand’s story and therefore connect with the right audience through engaging and relatable content.

Being ‘real’ also keeps you true to your brand’s ethos, key messages, and overarching business and social goals. It keeps you clear on who you are and why you’re presenting your brand in a certain way. 

Defining a brand personality can be tricky, but having a clear-cut set of personality traits helps to keep everyone who manages your brand’s social media on the same page. Before jumping into any personality building, you should know your audience inside and out. Consider who you’re wanting to connect with and how you’re going to connect with this particular group of people and then you can begin to curate a brand persona.  

That all sounds great, but how do I humanise my brand? 

Holding a group workshop with personality building exercises can be very effective in divulging how people view your brand differently. A collaborative workshop can help gather a bank of adjectives that describe who your brand is and who your brand is not. Another way to keep your team aligned is by creating a brand playbook that can be shared around so everyone knows exactly who you are, what you say, and how you say it.

However, it’s important to find the right balance between personality and professionalism by not becoming overly familiar with your online audience and forgetting that you’re a brand. Social media users like to feel a connection with brands online, but are aware that they’re connecting with a company and not a close personal friend.   

Once you have a concrete list of personality traits, and your team understand how to speak and act across your social media accounts, there needs to be a focus on the type of content that gets this personality across. Think of Innocent Smoothies and Ryanair as prime examples. Ryanair perfectly humanises its content by handing the content reigns over to its staff members.

@ryanair I think I’m shadowbanned besties this is tragic😭 one like = one prayer #ryanair #airline #fyp ♬ original sound – Wonders of Magic

Ryanair’s TikTok account is filled with on-trend content executed by Ryanair cabin crew and staff. They now have a hefty follower count of 1.6 million and their always-on community management approach has users coming back for more.

Innocent use a similar approach through their social copy, particularly on their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Innocent refer to themselves online as employees at Innocent, they do not try and be the brand, instead the marketers behind the accounts often discuss their ‘boss’ and humanise themselves by taking on the personality of the everyday worker.

Content that moves away from the product or service the brand is ultimately trying to sell is almost always more successful than the brands that are focused on selling. Behind the scenes content, showcasing the team, and giving consumers the chance to get to know the names and faces of the brand are all clever marketing techniques that humanise your online presence.  

To summarise…

Finding your brand personality, although not always easy, is an engaging and rewarding task. Remember to start with your audience by understanding them inside and out, define your brand personality with a series of adjectives and create a guiding playbook that can be shared with your team to ensure consistency. Show the people that make up your brand and demonstrate human emotion through your social copy and community management approach. Above all, be human.  

About the author:

Millie McKenzie is the Social Media Manager at CreativeRace, heading up our organic social media function. Millie’s background is primarily in food & drink marketing, working with clients such as SKIPPY Peanut Butter, Leeds-based Mighty Drinks, and Very Lazy. Millie also runs a personal food-blog with over 10K followers.