For the professional businesspeople out there who decide to venture into social media, things can take a little bit of getting used to. Take the art of social media branding as a prime example of the differences between regular branding and online branding. Far too many brands come across a bit too robotic to their customers; there is no real human element to speak of.

This is a shame, of course, because the biggest aspect of social networking actually making it work is the “social” part of networking. The name tells you everything you need to know about how to approach it, yet there are still too few humanized brands on big networks like Facebook.

If you’re serious about developing a winning social media marketing strategy to brand yourself on the big sites, then you have to let your proverbial hair down a bit and show your human side to your audience.

7 Tips for Injecting Personality into Your Branding

  1. Embrace the Culture – From the inside out and the outside in, you have to accept social media as a legitimate part of your business advertising and as a home for your brand. This isn’t simply some advertising extension you’re using to gain customers. You have to embrace social media and decide to make your home there. This allows for a culture shift within your organization. Social networking will become useful beyond building a fan base.
  2. Build Actual Relationships – With conventional Internet marketing, your goal is to build up email lists and to advertise to people through niche marketing tactics. While the principles of marketing do not change when using social media, the methods must. Instead of sending out a simple email, for example, you’re going to provide quality material that intrigues people and that hopefully gets a conversation started. You want a back-and-forth dialogue with your network.
  3. Show Your Personality – You may think that it’s difficult for a brand to actually show personality, but it’s actually quite easy. Personality, in the context of branding, is all about figuring out your brand’s identity and being consistent with your material. It’s also about showing a lighter side of your brand to people. You don’t always have to be business-first; you can post a wide range of useful information and relevant content for your network to enjoy.
  4. Actually Use the Network – If you’re working on branding through a Facebook page, then you should also ensure that you’re available to respond to people when they have an issue or leave you a comment. You can’t have it both ways here. You can’t spend time making it look like your brand has personality without actually staying around to back it up. Remember, it’s about the human element, and thus your page needs actual humans.
  5. Adopt a Social Tone – Now, don’t take this the wrong way, as in speaking broken, abbreviated English, but you do need to adopt more of a social-style language. This can simply mean to speak in layman’s terms instead of business jargon. You don’t need to throw about a bunch of “LOLs” or “OMGs.” Just try not to get overly technical in your speech.
  6. Treat People as Actual People – For the purposes of qualifying people to ensure you’re signing up those most likely to become customers, you’re undoubtedly treating people as statistics. But there is still plenty of room to treat them like actual people. Reach out to individuals with personalized messages instead of content designed for a group.

Showing a human element in your branding can pay off tremendously. There are a lot of brands out there that act robotic and strictly professional, most of whom outright ignore their bases. But since they’re so popular and don’t rely that much on social media for customers, it doesn’t hurt their bottom line.

You should approach things differently here. Take the time to show people your human side, and your brand will be much better off for it.

{Featured image via Search Engine Round Table}