What does it mean when businesses are asked to be more human?
Share funny jokes?
Tell people about their day?
Share their favourite TV shows?
Although the above might seem a little farfetched in actual fact those suggestions aren’t far of the truth.
How can a business have a personality? Well the simple fact is people love to connect with other people they know, like and can trust. This concept also applies to your business. Your customers are going to be more willing to do business with you if you can demonstrate you are an organisation that can be trusted and one that is a pleasure to deal with.
I believe one of the best ways to learn is to look at those who have already accomplished what you are aiming to achieve. That is why in this post I will show you how “Humans Of New York” have used being human to successfully connect and engage with their audience of over 7.7 Million Fans.
Before we take a look at the different ways “Humans Of New York” showcase their personality it’s important to realise what the page stands for. According to Brandon who founded the project : “Humans of New York provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.”
How being human helps your business connect with its customers
Humans of New York have done a great job of providing a glimpse into the lives of strangers living in New York City.
How have they achieved this?
Rather than just posting an image Brandon who started the project understood that people connect on a deeper level when their passions and ideas are shared. To help convey this he not only took photographs of the people he wished to feature on his Facebook page but also asked them to share a story about themselves. It was this story telling that helped the page grow at a rapid rate.
By sharing the stories of the strangers, Facebook fans were able to find out more about the people behind the lense and what they stood for. As a result the posts began to experience a large amount of shares from people who felt they could relate to these stories and wanted to tell their friends. In turn helping to increase the page’s reach and visibility. Below is an example of how this story shared by a dog owner helped the page to receive over 600,000 likes and nearly 50,000 shares on a single post.
2) Building Trust
By sharing their stories on a daily basis Humans Of New York were able to increase their trust with their audience as they began to get use to the type of content that was being shared. As a result more and more fans began to comment on the posts as they began to relate to the stories and what others have been through.
Through posting consistent daily content sharing the stories of other New Yorkers this had now created a passionate Facebook community who loved to listen and engage with the stories and in some cases even help out.
Here is a great example of how the Facebook community reacted when this story was shared and how they showed their support. This also led the post to receive over 1.2Million Likes and over 48,000 comments!
One of the great ways Humans of New York have been transparent with their fans is to share the stories directly from the people featured on the page. What makes this unique?
The best part about the stories shared on the page are that Brandon talks to each individual to find out their story then shares the part he feels reflects them as an individual. All the quotes taken from individuals are kept exactly as they have phrased them. This not only allows the page to build up a reputation as one that is authentic but also helps its fans connect with the stories behind the images as they are a true reflection of the individual. Editing these stories or changing the quotes to suit the brand may not have had the same effect. This is also a great demonstration of how the page helps to build trust not only with the brand but also with the content that gets shared.
Here is a great interview with Brandon where he discusses how he creates the stories for his Facebook page.
4) Building relationships
By being more open and sharing those stories that matter the most to your audience you will begin to notice a better relationship developing with your fans. As your fans begin to relate and understand your content better your business will start to experience better engagement and also begin to develop more loyal and passionate fans.
When building this relationship with your fans it’s important to note that this does take time and requires a consistent effort on your part.
Humans of New York have done a great job of building this relationship with their community by posting consistent content and engaging in conversation with their fans. Not only do they share their posts on a daily basis but also comment and reply to fans along the way. Not only does this build the relationship with your fans but is also a great way to get feedback on the type of content you are sharing.
Here’s an example of how Brandon used the comments to share more about the person featured in the post and replied to fans.
It’s actually very simple to help build a better relationship with your fans and to humanise your business let them discover the people behind the organisation. This means showcasing what your business has planned behind the scenes, future projects, events attended and even fun facts about the employees that work there. It’s also very important when looking to build trust with your audience that your business is open with its fans. This means that your business is honest about its practices and owns up to any problems or issues that they are facing. Avoiding this will result in negative feedback and loss of trust. Lastly be there to engage with your fans, this means joining in conversation, highlighting their ideas and input (user generated content) and even rewarding them through competitions or giveaways.
What are your Facebook fans passionate about? Comment below