Businesses are businesses, and people are people, but it's the people in
your business that affect how others view you. When you're creating a digital presence for your business or brand online, it might seem difficult to bring in the human side.
Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth. It is possible to humanize your brand online and create a personal touch. Your online presence, from your blog and website to your social properties, is the perfect place for putting a face to your small-business name.
Here are five ways you can use the Internet and your digital presence to become more human and show off your face(s):
1. Present your staff on Facebook. On Facebook you have two main images you can control: your profile picture and your cover photo. Either can highlight photos of your staff, but the cover photo is an especially nice piece of real estate to show off your staff. Whether it's a group shot, or a collage of your staff working with customers, this helps to put a human face on your business. Consider using Instagram and Pinterest for these same reasons. Here's a cover photo example form my clients at Water Street Ministries:
2. Talk about your staff. Additionally, you can post periodic updates about your staff, along with photos of them at work. This can be done on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform. Maybe even feature an employee of the week or month. Don't just talk about their work; feel free to talk about them on birthdays, anniversaries, or other milestones, or after a professional or personal achievement. My clients at Plum Salon & Spa will often profile their stylists while promoting the services they offer, or their available appointment slots:
3. Give your staff a voice. Find ways to let your staff contribute to your online content. Each of them was hired for a specific reason or role, and everyone presumably has an area of expertise. Let them show off their perspective and specialized knowledge by being a part of your blogging team. If you use Pinterest, give each employee a board of his or her own for pinning things related to their work, ideas, and interests.
4. Let them be themselves. If they are on Twitter, don't make them hide behind your brand. If they are tweeting for your business, put their name in the Twitter bio. If multiple people are on Twitter, rather than using the name @salesatyourbusiness let them be @Tomatyourbusiness. That personal touch is good for them and for your customers. On their individual business accounts, consider letting them use their photo as their avatar, rather than your logo.
5. Show the world your team. One important part of your website is the "about us" page. Don't just talk about your company, but feature your staff. Show their pictures along with a bio. Don't just focus on the professional profile; instead, let your staff have fun by sharing personal information about themselves, their family, and their interests. In addition to their professional head shot, let them add a more whimsical photo or two to the bio.
In short, put a face on the name of your business-a human face, not just a logo. Let the world know whom they will be dealing with if they do business with you. Give your staff the credit they deserve for being integral to your success. Not only will your staff appreciate this, but it will help your customers connect with your business on a deeper and more personal level.
One more thing: Use pictures of your real staff. I've seen websites where businesses use stock photos to represent their staff. I don't know about you, but stock photos are pretty obviously just that: stock photos. Show the people that your customers will meet when they visit their business, not just cosmetically perfect models. They'll know the difference-trust me.
A version of this article first appeared on Inkling Media's blog.