Instagram, Instagram – who hasn’t heard of Instagram?

It’s the social network that’s exploded over the past two years, but I think 2015 is going to be its year to shine.

Why? Because it has the innate ability to do one of the most important things brands and businesses must do in social media marketing – humanize.

What is humanizing a brand? It’s making it come alive, putting a human face on it, sharing stories, and making the fans care about it.

Take Nike for example. Nike makes shoes, but their marketing makes us think more about the people who wear Nike than the shoes themselves. We see athletes, dancers, professionals, and it gets us pumped up. We subconsciously associate faces with the brand. We care about it even if we don’t choose to wear Nike.

Why is humanizing your business necessary? Because consumers are becoming increasingly more hesitant toward businesses online. They don’t appreciate the pushy sales techniques or the inflated promises – they want real, they want to feel good about their purchases, and they want to care.

So you’ve got to make a difference – you’ve got to show them why your brand is different. And not in some pushy sort of way – in a human way.

Instagram allows us to do this almost effortlessly. It’s the easiest social network to use and doesn’t need lots of bells and whistles to create an engaging account and get personal with our followers..

Let’s go through what it takes to humanize a brand and what you can do to start humanizing yours today!

1. Share the faces behind your brand.

It’s important that people get a chance to bond with who’s on the inside of any brand.

Instagram accounts featuring nothing but quotes and coffee cups aren’t winning many friends. But those who go the extra mile to introduce the folks making it happen are guaranteed to win.

eat_landmarc
The cooking crew behind @eat_landmarc.

 

sea2table
A cook slicing up some fish in the kitchen of @sea2table.

 

dannijo1
The founder and jewelry designer for @dannijo.

 

2. Share your business’s ethics and morals

What does your brand stand for? Is it health conscious, loud, spiritual, inspiring or funny? Share it with your audience and be sure to narrow down who is and isn’t interested in your brand.

The great part about sharing what’s important to your business is that it will help draw the types of Instagrammers you want to interact with.

Don’t be afraid to be polarizing, but always post with purpose.

dannijo3

alxrv

3. Use humor.

Humor is one of those tools you can always pull out of the arsenal, and Instagram is the perfect place for it.

Who doesn’t like to laugh? And when you’re trying to tell a story or share your brand with followers, funny photos can go a long way to endear you to your audience.

igomoon

healthtap

dannijo2

4. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Don’t be concerned about being cool, taking professional-quality photos or making funny statements, just be yourself and you will succeed.

And that goes for brands of all sizes.

Every business should be familiar with the voice/personality they are projecting online and you want to be true to it. If your fans see you posting all kinds of random images or quotes, they’ll begin to question your credibility, and that’s the last thing you want.

Stay true to your brand and all will be fabulous.

maconrental
@Amandajshaw is a business owner who rents out equipment and a Stella & Dot representative with killer style. She always incorporates both into fun and colorful posts.

 

designlovefest
Bri, the founder of @designlovefest recently became single and isn’t shying away from sharing it with her fans.

 

5. Be human.

Yes, this post is about humanizing your brand, but it’s SOO important.

It’s being open, honest, and vulnerable with your audience.

And while there’s a few examples below this point, many of the photos are excellent examples of being “human.”

The point is, if people can’t find something about your brand to bond with, it’s going to be additionally hard for them to feel loyal to you in the future.

Share human experiences, photos, get personal, and don’t be afraid to share details.

Instagram is an intimate network because it’s visual, so you must be intimate with your audience.

faevoreawards
This cute childhood snapshot of the CEO of @faevorewards would make anyone smile.

 

at_pay
The guys at @at_pay get to play pool on their break.. Who’s jealous?

 

pieboxchicago
See – perfect pictures are tough to come by! Love how @pieboxchicago takes one step outside the photography shoot to make it intimate.

 

Alright, what am I missing? What else can help you humanize your brand on Instagram?

 

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