People don’t trust your brand. Welcome to the reality. There might be discourses on consumer brand trust till the end of the world but the fact is that most people do not have the time or won’t make the effort to cozy up to your brand in this day and age of 24×7, instant noodles-like media where 1001 brands are vying for consumer attention. So, what is the solution for this?
The solution is simple (not easy) and age-old. People trust other people and what you need to do is humanize your brand.
Here are 5 practical strategies to do this:
Imagine your brand as a living, breathing person
Your logo or your company name is not a person but your brand needs a human voice and a personality. You need to come up with a fictional character that represents your brand and flesh out the details about this person. Who is this person? What does this person like? How do they dress up? What’s their favorite food? What is their personality like? Serious or fun-loving? When you have answered these questions, you will have the personality of your brand before you and you will be on the right track to tell the world about this person.
Stop scheduling social media posts in advance
Social media scheduling tools are no doubt cool. They take the pressure off you and let you write posts in advance but they also distance you from your audience. Instead, giving spur-of-the-moment reactions will enable you to come across as more human in the eyes of your users and your audience will notice the difference. There is more pressure and a larger time commitment but it is all worth it, especially for faster platforms like Twitter.
Talk & listen take part in conversations
Posting on social media is not enough? Ask them what they like & what they want to see. If they say that they like your posts, thank them for their readership. If you see your audience members commenting on an external thread, jump into the discussion. The more you engage with your users, the more likely you are to be seen as a trustworthy person. Engagement doesn’t mean one –sided monologues where you don’t let others speak or voice their opinions. It means listening too, even when the other person is not necessarily singing praises about you. Remember, people are watching on social media. So, even if a lot of people don’t engage in conversations with you, there will a large number of them watching and taking note of how you behave there.
When possible be funny
Most people take this in a wrong way. Being an affable and nice guy doesn’t mean someone who is forever the giggly court jester who never has a bad day. Most people on social media try to show off only one side of their lives – the happy, bubbly & ‘I have no worries’ side. Try to avoid this but when the occasion is ripe, never shy away from showing your sense of humor, self-deprecating humor in particular that shows you don’t take yourself too seriously. This will depend a lot on the personality of your brand but make sure that you are never too far off in keeping aside the formal face of your brand and appreciating a human moment when an occasion demands you to do so.
Use personal brands
Your corporate brand is one part of your digital presence. You can humanize your brand further by letting the top people in your organization take part in the conversations on social media and asking them to redistribute the content. This again shows the human side of your brand and on the upside, you get more visibility for the content that you publish, which in turn provides you with further opportunities for more connections and partnerships.
These strategies are meant to add a more human element to your brand but nothing beats the most potent way to connect with your consumers i.e. when you stop trying to find a way to come up with a magical formula of connecting to your audience and predicting their behavior. In other words, you stop trying to think like a corporation and instead try to think like a human being. How do you talk to people in your own life? How do you connect with people around you? The answers to these questions should act as a guide for your branding campaign.