How to Humanize Your Company and Get People to Share Your Story

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Rohit Bhargava, senior vice president of digital strategy and marketing at Ogilvy and the author of the book Personality Not Included.

Rohit talks about how to put personality back into your company to tell a better story about what you do, get people to believe in your company and tell everyone about it.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

Personality matters because people matter. Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video about how to humanize your company:

  • What you can do get personality back
  • Where to focus your attention to humanize your company
  • How to identify the employees who are your “accidental spokespeople”
  • How to cultivate these people to become a voice for your company
  • Why Innocent Drinks has a great personality
  • How to find the right backstory model for your company
  • How to humanize your brand

Find out more about Ogilvy on their 360° Digital Influence blog. Connect with Rohit on his Influential Marketing blog and download a chapter of Rohit’s book at Personality Not Included.

How do you humanize your company? What tips do you have to share? Please share them in the comment section below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, and host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. He also authored of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    Sometimes you can have great people around you and not even realize it. It comes down to you figuring out what working and bringing it to the front..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Antonio, you raise a good point. Companies will probably improve their social media marketing by improving their skills at “managing” their employees.

  • http://lamiki.com/ Laura Kimball

    I love how Rohit referenced “Save the Cat” when talking about how brands can humanize their own stories. Nice interview with a ton of takeaways.

    Laura Kimball
    Jolkona, http://jolkona.org

  • Gerardo

    So which back story type are we?
    http://vintagevictory.com/vv-story
    Cheers,
    Gerardo & Katy
    VintageVictory.com
    London

  • http://blainejeffery.com/ Blaine Jeffery

    Great interview, I was curious whether we might see an unfortunate trend similar to the ‘green’ environmental BS that many companies ‘hijacked’ without really having the substance or core values to back up. Will companies that appreciate how important personality and social engagement is begin ‘hijacking’ appealing persona’s that aren’t actually genuine to them?

    http://twitter.com/blainecreates

  • http://www.rohitbhargava.com/ Rohit Bhargava

    Hi all – Thanks for all the comments. I have been talking for some time about how personality can be the secret weapon for many organizations to stand out. To Blane’s point about the potential for fakery – there is always that danger … but the nice thing about personality versus some other attributes is that it tends to be harder to fake (just like in real life with people).

  • http://www.rohitbhargava.com/ Rohit Bhargava

    Hi Gerardo & Katy,

    I’d say the “Passionate Enthusiast” backstory type – just like Moo.com and Storyville Coffee (two examples from the book)!

    In case you’re interested, all five types are:

    1 – The Passionate Enthusiast
    2 – The Inspired Inventor
    3 – The Smart Listener
    4 – The Likeable Hero
    5 – The Little Guy vs. The Big Guy

    Good luck with the business!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Great video, and PNI is an outstanding book. I highly recommend it.

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody Urquhart

    I love the theory or Telling the back story. The reason to believe in your company. What is this company history, vision, etc. People can only believe in your story if they know what it is. Great post.

  • http://www.servesyouright.net Susan Brooks

    Rohit, thank you for sharing so much rich and relevant information. As a business owner and speaker, I call it ‘service enthusiasm’ inviting employees to share their full-out self expression, which not only keeps them engaged, but also provides customers with a service experience that brings them back again and again. That robotized ‘whatever’ attitude you described has become the mediocre norm…what an opportunity for those in business to step it up! Would love to know your description of the 5 back story archetypes…

  • Gerardo

    Thank you Rohit!
    Cheers Mate,
    G&K

  • Guest

    These are some strong tips Rohit. I totally believe that personality matters because people matter, as you said.

    The old Ps of marketing(product, place, price, and promotion) are not the most important anymore as marketers should be connecting with their customers on a personal level using social media. Many organizations ignore this and end up losing customers they already have. They lack clear goals and end up focusing on the wrong measures. Marketers should first outline their goals then understand the buyer personas( http://www.buyerpersona.com/ ) they are targeting and include that in their plan to be more effective in connecting with the buyer.

    When writing to buyers avoid using overused phrases in your industry( http://www.squidoo.com/businesscliches ). Nothing you write is going to sound convincing to the buyer when your marketing language sounds like every other company! Focus on the buyers needs, problems and issues first. Use Gobbledygook Grader ( http://gobbledygook.grader.com/ ) to check your written content for overused words and phrases.

    This along with Rohit’s wonderful advice will help you improve your engagement with the buyer, helping you reach your true business goals.

  • kellyfeller

    That is my favorite “Social Media book” of all time and a must read for brands, imho.

  • http://lighthouseinsights.in/ Prasant Naidu

    @Rohit i very much agree to you point made on the about me page of companies. forget being gibberish the contact details are outdated and not even bothered to rectify them. So that kind of mentality has to change where business take customer for granted. And you can only survive in the long run if you humanize your brand. very true. will surely have a look on PNI :)

  • http://www.rohitbhargava.com/ Rohit Bhargava

    Thanks for all the comments! Due to several requests, last night I posted a FREE PDF version of The Backstory Model from Personality Not Included referenced in this video and in the comments. You can download it as part of a bunch of excerpts and presentations that I will be shared on my updated FB page: http://www.facebook.com/rohitmarketingauthor … (fair warning – you’ll be asked to “like” the page, but it will be worth the click).

  • http://rhogroupee.com/ Rosemary ONeill

    Great advice! Particularly when you’re a “Passionate Little Guy” (liberties taken with the list, I know) it can be tempting to try to mimic the “big guys” in order to gain credibility. We need to wake up every morning radiating our own personalities, not trying to squeeze into someone else’s mold. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Richard

    Great interview, as a small company some of it was not so relevant but the idea of telling the back story and the reason people should believe in your company and what it is about are great themes to work on.

  • Richard

    Great interview, as a small company some of it was not so relevant but the idea of telling the back story and the reason people should believe in your company and what it is about are great themes to work on.

  • http://www.yeditepeprefabrik.com prefabrik

    This along with Rohit’s wonderful advice will help you improve your engagement with the buyer, helping you reach your true business goals. evden eve nakliyat

  • http://www.yeditepeprefabrik.com prefabrik

    This along with Rohit’s wonderful advice will help you improve your engagement with the buyer, helping you reach your true business goals. evden eve nakliyat

  • http://www.best-web-hosting-companies.com/ Kavya Hari

    It’s really nice interview :) Keep rocking :)

  • http://www.best-web-hosting-companies.com/ Kavya Hari

    It’s really nice interview :) Keep rocking :)

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  • http://www.johncade.com/ John Cade

    Knowing which type of backstory your brand has not only helps your customers share your story, but helps your employees identify how to communicate your brand’s story to them.

  • http://www.johncade.com/ John Cade

    Knowing which type of backstory your brand has not only helps your customers share your story, but helps your employees identify how to communicate your brand’s story to them.

  • Andrew @ Blogging Guide

    Very comprehensive. Thanks for sharing relevant ideas that will help me to build enthusiasm. Really worth checking this one out. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for the share.

  • Andrew @ Blogging Guide

    Very comprehensive. Thanks for sharing relevant ideas that will help me to build enthusiasm. Really worth checking this one out. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for the share.

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