How To Be More Human On Social Media

21st March 2017

Simon Heyes Head of Social Media at 8MS

Wondering how your brand can come across as more human on social media?

Engaging on social media with a friendly, approachable authenticity helps you turn online connections into customers who feel like they know you.

In this article, you’ll discover a few tips to help humanise your business on social media.

Social Media is a 2-way Conversation; you have to listen to your customers

Join Our Newsletter

Listen and Respond Like a Human

More often than not, you will be listening and responding to people through your brands logo. Adding your name or initials to tweets and posts is a good place to start, but simply offering good advice and service can go a long way.

Social media is a two-way communication channel. If you have good engagement, you’ll receive customer attempts to contact you, maybe ask a question, or congratulate you on a job well done as well as posting regular content updates.

Depending on your audience size, listening is very important on social media. Look out for trends. Are customers asking the same questions? Listening to your customers helps you solve problems faster and providing open answers shows your customers that their voices matter.

Perhaps the biggest and best example of a brand’s social media response was in the aftermath of the O2 service outage in 2012. After a 24-hour blackout which left 8 million customers without data or a signal, Twitter users directed their frustration and anger at O2’s Twitter profile.

02 Social Media

Unusually for a large brand, O2’s customer service team responded with some witty banter and light-hearted humour, which turned many haters into brand advocates.

O2 took an unconventional approach to social media to gain back some control over the conversation, and have been seen as social media crisis pioneers ever since.

02 deserves cake

Show A Bit Of Humour

This point is tied into the example above. Social media doesn’t always have to be straight-laced and focused on business functions. Sometimes the best way to form a real connection with your audience is to show your humorous side.

This could be as simple as using an amusing GIF in a tweet, or hopping on a well-timed hashtag. In 2014, an email circulated around fashion company Arcadia, where a man’s holiday request had accidentally been forwarded to the company’s 3,500 employees. Things soon spilled onto Twitter, with #GiveGregTheHoliday trending for several days.

Trekamerica were quick to respond and took the plaudits when they quickly got involved and offered Greg a holiday to Las Vegas. BuzzFeed fame soon followed.

Use A Personable Tone Of Voice

Using corporate speak on social media won’t cut the mustard. People generally use social media in their spare time, and don’t want to be bombarded with content that doesn’t interest them.

Hopefully you have the freedom to talk in a personal and friendly voice. Try creating posts that speak to your audience in a conversational voice, a bit like you’re sitting across from them whilst having a cup of tea. You’ll probably find it’s easier for people to converse with you.

Metro Bank are a good UK example of using a personal voice, even though they are in the straight-laced financial industry.

Metro Bank Social Media

It’s Not All Push, Push, Push

When you begin your social media strategy, one of the first things you are likely to do is build a content plan. It will dictate what you post, when, and on which channel over a period of time. That’s all well and good, but social media is about building relationships. Building a community around your brand.

When one of your friends posts something monumental on social media, what do you do? Chances are you probably like it, and take the time to congratulate them on what they did. Brands that have mastered social media engagement know they can do that with their audience as well.

Whenever possible, highlight posts that have been created by your fans and followers, and create posts around that content. Show your audience you care about the messages they put out. You’ll make them feel special and likely turn them into lasting brand advocates.

Burt’s Bees are a great example of a brand that integrate user posts into their social content calendar.

Burt Bee's Social Media

Using User Generated Content (UGC) is also a great way to softly sell your products and services.

So, how will you be more Human?

There you have it! Using these four simple tips and lessons learned from other social media-savvy brands, you should be able to start creating authentic connections with your own audiences.

Quick Recap on the 04 key takeaways:

  • 01. Listen and Respond Like a Human
  • 02. Show A Bit Of Humour
  • 03. Use A Personable Tone Of Voice
  • 04. It’s Not All Push, Push, Push

Have you tried to be more human and it didn't work? Are you getting the engagement you want through social media? Get in touch, leave comment and let's chat. After all, we are human too!

Think you are up to the task?

The Digital Co offer The Complete Guide to Social Media Training for marketers of all levels. Is this course for you? Why not check it out.

Why not test yourself with our Social Media Skills Test to kick start humanising your Social Media strategy.


The Digital Co Membership

Join our Membership today

Become a Member

Complete Guide to

Social Media Training

Take a Course today

Social Media

Join our Newsletter

Stay up to date with The Digital.Co

Sign up for a membership

This is some text regarding signing up to the Digital Co's membership.

Learn more