Being human on social media is not overrated because people want to see and hear what your story is. They don’t care about all the fancy products you use, they care about hearing how these fancy products helped you.

media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg talks about why showing your humanity is vital for success on social media.

Here are three reasons why being real is the best strategy to use on social platforms:

1. It helps you understand your audience better

When you are showing your true self on social media, you will start building up a following of users that actually enjoy your content and like you as a person. This means that the engagement you receive will give you a clear understanding of what your audience likes and doesn't like.

Understanding your followers better allows you to change your content where necessary. You are able to ask your audience what kind of content they would like to see and what content they don’t enjoy. By making sure you have open communication with them, you can start building up a loyal fanbase.

One Social media influencer who is always honest about what’s happening in her life is Courtney Budzyn. Budzyn struggles with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and, since a lot of her content is focused around her American Kennel Club golden retriever and what they do together, it has affected the amount of adventures they can go on. Her followers appreciate her openness and honesty and frequently provide her with a lot of support regarding her illness.

However, on one particular occasion, one of her followers claimed that she is pretending to be sick to get attention. Without putting up a fight, she said she will not attempt to convince anyone that she is sick. She still talks about her POTS episodes and how it has been affecting her. She knows that her audience enjoys her content and that they care about her.

2. It helps you build authentic relationships with your followers

It is important to remember that brands and social media influencers have their real lives and then their ‘social media’ lives. At times, people work really hard to keep these two separate from one another, although there are times when the lines can and, in some cases, should blur.

Being human on social media sometimes means showing your vulnerable side. This allows people to trust you more as they are able to relate to your story. And if they can relate to your brand, they will feel more connected to you and, hopefully, become loyal followers.

If you only show the successful side of your story, people might feel intimidated because they don’t see the struggles — and that is not how you want your audience to feel. If they feel negative when looking at your content, they might stop following you. By allowing them a glimpse of the hard days and allowing them into your real life, you are showing them that they are not alone in the world.

Being human on social media might seem like a hard task because people are often too afraid to show their vulnerable side. However, brands can definitely learn from Instagram influencer Krystal Sutherland, a makeup artist and chronic pain warrior. She is doing a great job at keeping the human side very prominent on her feed.

She has a ‘Stories’ tab on her Instagram page where she talks about mental health and how important it is to deal with it. She also talks about her chronic pain, and there are a lot of videos where she will cry before doing her makeup, showing her followers that, just like them, she also has things she needs to deal with.

It is important, however, to remember to keep a balance with the content that you post. For example, if every second video this Instagram influencer put out was about her crying, people would feel that the content is too negative. Thankfully, this is not the case and Sutherland does a really great job at keeping her content balanced.

3. It helps you to communicate more effectively with your audience

Being present and available on your social media platforms will ensure that you will have better communication with your audience. This is because adding a human touch to messages ensures that your followers know that they are talking to an actual person, and not a chatbot — which has zero emotional intelligence.

When your followers ask questions or thank you for the role you’ve played in their lives, and all they receive is a generic message, they will not only feel unappreciated but they will also not see you as being a ‘real’ human.

It is important for brands to remember that they are talking to real people, so you need to show them you value and care about their feelings and opinions.

A company that does this really well is American haircare brand Not Your Mother’s. They have been doing a lot of posts where they check in with their audience and also respond to them.

In their responses, you can clearly see that they are actually listening and show that they care a lot about what their followers have to say. Although this is a brand, their human side is extremely prominent.

Why do you think it is important for brands to show your human side on social media? Let us know in the comments section below.

U lava mahungu aku hisa? Tsalela hina

Being active on social media means that there will always be negative comments, so be sure to read these Three tips for responding to negative comments like a pro.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy