I hope that simple opening gave you a hint that you’re reading a blog post written by a real person, and not a robotic salesperson who is making yet another pitch for you to buy his product or service.
But if not … Last time I checked, I was a real-live human person. And the last time you checked, I’ll bet you were too.
So why do so many people have such a hard time communicating like one on Facebook?
There’s a reason why it’s called a social media site: It’s because people can connect with other people there, and can interact with each other. When you use the site just to sell fans on your products and services, no one wants to listen, and you miss a valuable opportunity to engage customers, clients, members, supporters, and prospects, and to build your business or organization in the process.
Remember: Marketing is no longer about Business to Business, or Business to Consumer. It’s about Person to Person.
These days, people want to buy from, work, and collaborate with people they know, like, and trust. They don’t want to support businesses and organizations they know nothing about.
One of the best ways to make stronger connections with your fans is to act like an actual person on Facebook. Here are 6 ways to do that.
1. Write like you speak.
Drop all the marketing- and sales-speak. One great result of social media is that it has allowed businesses and organizations to speak in a more casual voice with their fans. This means you can be funny and loose in the ways you get your messages across. Write to your fans like they’re people, not customers, clients, or donors, because that’s exactly what they are.
2. Be present.
Instead of just posting content, make sure you’re also responding to comments and are responsive to the replies of your fans. The more you actually engage, the more your fans will know there’s a real person behind your Facebook Page.
3. Share your passion.
That’s exactly what Mark Armantrout and Paul Fehribach do on the Facebook Page for their Chicago restaurant, Big Jones. “We decided soon after opening that we wanted to be able to tell our story, in our own words, without a filter,” Mark explains. To that end, the Page includes photos with fun captions, contests where fans guess the ingredients in various dishes, and links to blog posts where Mark and Paul share their passion for southern cooking at greater length.
4. Show, don’t tell.
Photos and videos are perhaps the best way to show that actual people are involved with your business or organization. What’s a typical day like for you? Take a photo at some point and show people what you’re up to. Document your next team outing, or what you did to celebrate a holiday. Share a video of you saying how much you love your customers, or sharing your expertise or tips for using your products. Because photos and videos let people actually see and hear you, your fans can make a more personal connection with you.
5. Involve your team.
Who are the people you work with, who your customers, clients, and supporters may come into contact with? Introduce your fans to your waitstaff, service associates, consultants, masseurs and masseuses, volunteers, dog walkers, etc. by posting photos, quotes, and more. Better yet, why not share video footage of your team to highlight your weird or wacky culture?
6. Let your customers play a role.
Your fans love you. Let their very human and personable voice come through, either by sharing their tips for using your products, picking their favorite service that you offer, sharing why they support you, or by introducing themselves to their fellow fans. Let your customers rave about your business, product, or service, then share the video on your Page — it will make you seem more human in the process.
What it comes down to is that you shouldn’t think about Facebook as a marketing tool, but rather, as just as an extension of yourself. Acting, speaking, and sharing the same way you do offline will allow you to come across as a more authentic, human person, and as a result, your fans will come to feel a greater connection with you and your business or organization.
How do you share your real, authentic self on Facebook? Share your thoughts and examples in the comments section below.