Whether it’s through your Facebook page, your website, or a tweet, always remember That You are communicating with another living, breathing person at the other end – another human. It’s not just important, but necessary to sound human when you’re communicating. Your voice has to be genuine, while also reflecting your brand (a tricky balance).

As a marketer, you need to constantly find new ways to personalize and target your content. Remember, around 90% of consumers who interact with a brand on social media recommend it to others in their network – but only if they can relate to it!

Here are some tips on how you can make even the most corporate brand sound real :

1. Set Your Tone

To avoid sounding too formal, you need to develop a personal, engaging and approachable tone. This requires some effort, but is worth investing the time. How do you connect and sound like you’re having a conversation with your audience? Start by researching your audience – what other brands do they follow, and how do they speak to each other? Use this as a starting point.

In most cases, you definitely won’t want to sound like a school teacher trying to discipline kids. Instead, develop a personality, inject a sense of humor, and speak to your audience the people (not “users” or “customers”). Once you’ve set the right tone, run all your content through this filter.

2. Keep Your Voice Consistent

Let’s say you have a blog, a Facebook page and a website — you need to speak the same “language” on all of them. So if you maintain a playful tone and use casual language on your blog, do the same on your Facebook page. Ideally, you’ll have a dedicated person (usually the Community or Social Media Manager) as your single point of contact for all channels.

However, if you do not have the resources to hire a dedicated Social Media Manager, you should create a style guide, specific to your brand, for all for your channels. Distribute the style guide to everyone who handles your company’s communications, and enforce the guidelines. This ensures you do not have too many people speaking in different voices. Once you set the tone, style and language across all platforms, a person who’s visiting your blog and another who’s visiting your Twitter channel will BOTH have a more consistent experience.

3. Give Them an “Inside Look”

Many companies post pictures of their employees and their achievements – which is very easy for people “on the outside” to relate to. You need to convey that you have a wonderful company culture, and that you genuinely care about people. Whether its about your employees or reaching an internal milestone, these insider perspectives give readers a glimpse of the “real” life within your company, making your brand much more human and relatable.

4. Offer Resources, Information, and Knowledge

What is your audience coming to you for? It’s important to find out the key “pegs” that will keep your customers hooked, and using that information, provide useful and relevant content – it can be about your industry as a whole, or perspectives on issues related to the brand.

For example, if you’re blogging for an interior design firm, you will hook your readers if you offer indoor decoration tips, DIY guides, and project showcases. By creating value for your customers, they’ll come to know and trust your brand more — much like they would wiht a close friend — making them much more likely to buy your product or service

5. Apologize, Thank, and Acknowledge

One mistake brands and companies make far too often is going silent when something goes wrong. People truly understand that things can, and will, go wrong — but going silent and not responding to their inquiries will enrage them. Instead, if you admit a mistake, realize you’re in the wrong, and quickly reassure them that you’re doing everything possible to make things right again, they’ll appreciate it so much more.

On the other side of the spectrum, appreciation goes a long way — even if it’s just a simple “thank you” after a purchase. People like feeling acknowledged and appreciated, by both brands and humans alike.

6. Be Available

Have you ever sent an email through a contact form and waited days for an answer? Or sent a tweet to a company that you still haven’t heard back from? This happens when brands spread themselves too thin, over many different channels, without realizing that it’s not easy to manage them all efficiently. And what happens when someone doesn’t hear back from you? They move on to your competition.

So when you open a channel, be sure you can be equally responsive across all your touch points, and get back to everyone within a set time frame. You should also communicate this to your team, so they can properly set expectations with customers. For example, some companies clearly tell you that they take up to two days to respond, so customers know to expect this.

7. Evolve With The Times

Smart businesses change with the times. Just as people evolve, so should businesses and companies. Know your industry and its latest developments, make changes when you need to, and communicate these changes to your customers. This will validate and their Increase confidence in you.

Remember, social media is all about making connections, and brands and companies have to adopt the mindset that each consumer is unique – with different interests, preferences, and behaviors. Understanding these, and building connections based on them, will humanize your brand and build a lasting relationship between it and your customers. And that is truly priceless.

There’s More…

Want to learn more about how to build relationships, and speak to your customers like human beings? Be sure to subscribe to Contentools’ blog for more tips on relationship building, branding, and other content marketing topics.