Over time we’ve realised the way we communicate with our audience as human beings, creates more natural and honest engagement. So here’s our top tips for making your company more approachable!
1. Be approachable
For many businesses, portraying themselves as industry leaders is essential to generating leads and gaining credibility. And while that is certainly a crucial piece of the puzzle, it doesn’t negate the need for a human element. The reality is, you can still have professional, educational or even highly technical content that still incorporates a fun, caring, or engaging tone.
Making your company stand out from the rest as leaders in your industry is vital when it comes to engaging with your audience. However, the mistake you don’t want to make is by using too much of a corporate angle. Losing the human side of your posts can make you lose, wait for it – humans. So many worry that by introducing something more playful in terms of tone, they won’t be taken seriously, and they are wrong.
Lots of large companies are now marketing H2H (human to human), rather than B2B or B2C. Companies that have acquired a particular reputation have used it in their marketing and to their advantage.
Let’s look at Skoda for example, their cars were deemed, socially, to be unattractive. They weren’t being considered by younger audiences, there were no sleek lines or cutting-edge design elements, it was all about functionality. They decided to completely change the look of their cars and even started using the slogan ‘It’s a Skoda. Honest.” People loved it, and their reputation, and revenue, grew.
2. Look inward
Culture plays a huge role, your company and employees benefit so much from a strong and enjoyable company culture. This naturally makes everyone proud to show off how much they love being part of your company.
The more you show your employees feeling like this, the more it resonates with your audience. By investing in your team, and highlighting them for their achievements, the more they feel valued. Has someone recently passed a course, ran a race, or gotten some fantastic feedback? Share it! People LOVE to see it.
By showcasing your team like this online it will show a bit of what it’s like to work at your company, and also, with you.
3. Lose the jargon.
Sales talk simply switches your audience off. You could also be alienating potential customers. Using real, down-to-earth language is far more engaging.
Now consider how you can apply H2H marketing to B2B and B2C. Of course, if you are marketing towards a business, you still want your language to be technically correct and educational to capture their attention and interest, you don’t have to lose that by adding the human element. But if you’re talking more B2C then you do want to incorporate some inclusive language to create that emotional response that resonates with people.
The easiest way to think about it is how would you talk about it to someone in person. You can still be accurate without sounding like a robot. Being authentic and accessible is the best way for your content to be heard, or read, online.
4. Present the real you on your website
Is it just us that gets excited when the ‘Meet our Team’ page on a website talks about more than just qualifications, previous employment and experience? Don’t get us wrong, those are important. But what’s going to make you stand out from all of the other companies this potential customer is looking at?
Add in something personal about your team, have they seen The Office 19 times, or do they love walks with their miniature dachshund at the weekend? Details like these bring insight into your team and company and could resonate with the reader and make them want to find out more about your company. A balance between professionalism and being light-hearted is achievable.
5. A little joke goes a long way
There’s 100% a place for straight talking, sometimes it’s necessary. But where you can make your content lighter, and show your sense of humour, you definitely should. Especially if you’re B2B, don’t let B2C companies have all the fun!
Again we come back to H2H, humanising yourselves, connects you to humans. Especially if you’re B2B, humour generally isn’t expected, so when it happens now and then, people take notice.
Have you heard of DeadHappy? Their website starts, “Life insurance sucks. So we REDESIGNED it.” Life insurance, typically, is a very serious subject, very technical and generally, not very engaging. DeadHappy went hard with their marketing, and everyone was talking about it.
They threw out the rule book when it comes to marketing life insurance, and also their offering. They use very casual, conversational language and connect with their audience.
6. Keep calm and carry on blogging
Whilst personal blogs are not as popular as they used to be, company ones are still very much alive and kicking. Think about how often you’re looking for a resource and end up reading one. Whilst making resourceful blogs is incredibly valuable for your company, incorporating the more social side of your business into them is also important.
It’s an instant way for your readers can see exactly who you are, how you engage, and what you stand for. Posting resourceful, and lighthearted blogs is a great way to engage and keep your audience. As people, we’re generally naturally nosy, we like to see what you’re up to. Simple as that.
7. Engage through comments
Replying to comments is important of course, but always make sure to add your own comment to posts by others. Sign off your comments with a personal name so they see you as people, and not just one company. These can also be lighthearted where appropriate, and if you can inject some humour here and there – even better! Don’t be afraid to start conversations, hold live streams and engage.
8. Pictures are important
Let your fans and followers get to know your employees a bit better by posting photos of them doing things “out in the wild” or at company events. Displaying these on your careers page, social media, or “About Us” page are all good spots to showcase what working for your company is like for employees.
As we said before, we’re all nosy. We love seeing what other people are up to, especially if we have a shared interest. It also breaks up the feed from industry posts, doing something for charity? Having a team lunch? Or maybe just showing an activity you get up to in your spare time is a great way to make those connections with your audience. It’s also a great way for existing customers to get to know your team more.
9. Share the social reigns with your team
Allowing your team to post on your company’s behalf shows you trust your team, and it shows that they have something to say. An engaging team is a happy team, by them posting on your behalf, it lets others see this also.
Embracing social media during work hours is actually doing a lot of good, creates good company culture and it’s something to encourage to help your team and company to connect with others.
10. Own your mistakes and be sincere
It’s difficult when your company makes a mistake, and often the first reaction is to try to cover it up as quickly as possible to protect your reputation. Whilst sometimes mistakes can be corrected, sometimes they just can’t. All that matters in this case, is your reaction.
Sincerity is ultimately what we all want to see in people when a mistake is made. We’re human, you’re human, and so is your company. Humans make mistakes. Tackling the issue openly and honestly will win more points and minds, than a rushed cover-up.
As well as the importance of apologising. We need to remember the importance of thanking your customers, followers and team. Publicly showing our thanks with a heartfelt and honest post, whether it’s about them helping you achieve a certain goal, reaching a particular following or just for support in general. Just say “Thank you.”
11. Name it
Generally speaking, your email signature already shows your company logo, website, phone number etc. But does it have your name? Quite a few companies out there either don’t include their employees’ names or have no signature at all. Rendering them effectively, faceless.
There are enough computer robots out there responding to chats and emails, don’t let your company seem like just another AI bot. Showing your name, role and perhaps a picture shows off the human side of your team. It’s also helpful when it comes to in-person meetings, or video meetings, a face and a name mean you start on the right foot and also don’t have to do a lot of awkward introductions when you should already know each other.
12. Don’t just sell
Ultimately if someone likes your page, follows you, subscribes etc. It’s because they like your business, your content and are interested. So sometimes, just share something because you want to share it.
Give them something extra that’s not just a sales post, if you like it, chances are, they do too. It’s also another way to see how your audience engages with it and gives you another chance to interact with them in the comments and create stronger connections.
It may seem like a lot to take in, and not everything will be relevant to your field or company. But where you can, remember, H2H. If you want more engagement, engage more. Show yourselves and you’ll be amazed at just how much more people will react to it.