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How to Be an Empathetic Brand and Why

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Everyone knows the corporations. The massive companies that have thousands of people working for them and sometimes in a semi-robotic way. Have you ever felt like they were empathetic as a whole?

While there are definitely exceptions, I personally can’t say that I have.

Often times it feels very forced when they’re trying to be, just because everyone else is doing it. For example, in this March-April of 2020, we’re currently in a global-wide Corona virus pandemic. I’ve received more emails from companies regarding their sympathies from companies I have never heard of (or I suppose, remember hearing of).

Being inauthentic is just as dodgy as pretending to care about something when it’s just a way to sell your product. Your followers see right through this.

Instead, engage with people regularly and often in a way that’s completely true to what you stand for; Here’s how:

Be Kind

Respond to people directly (either via comments, email, posts, or direct messages) with compassion. In the world of social media, literally everyone can see your response. Don’t create a negative feeling simply because you didn’t take a moment to consider how others might see the situation.

empathetic helping hand
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Responding in a more neutral way can also be an option if they are being truly hateful, but understanding their point of view will help you get much farther in the conversation and solving any issues they may have with your product or services.

Besides, couldn’t we use a bit more kindness in our world?!

Be Relevant

Reach out to, respond to, or comment on people or brand’s posts that mean something to your brand. Not only will it make the writing easier, but it will make sense to those who see it and they’ll be intrigued to check you out too.

For example: You are a local gym. You post on a trainer or healthy lifestyle post about something that supports their comments, adds value or adds to the post in general. The author will respond in kind because you provided them useful info or ‘cheering’ such as ‘Great tip!’ and they look into your company. Then others will see your response and wonder what other useful info you may provide!

Be Genuinely Empathetic

If you’re the person responding to people’s complaints, comments, concerns, etc, are you taking into account how they feel? If you’re not typically the type to be empathetic, you CAN learn!

One idea is to ‘put yourself in their shoes’ and think of what you would do or how you would feel if you were in their position. We know that no one is perfect, but if you respond to someone’s anger with anger, all that begets is more anger, right?

giving dog water
Image by Matan Ray Vizel from Pixabay

So be gentle in your responses and you’ll get a MUCH better reaction from them and potentially keep them as a customer while attracting even more customers because you were nice!

Be Aware

It’s about more than just seeing the other side, but being aware of the current environment or cultural climate you’re in. Many brands have made massive faux pas flubs because they released an ad or post that was incredibly insensitive to a current event.

Consider that while you may not be personally affected by something, thousands of others likely are when it’s a case of something like a deadly virus or even a celebrity death. Regardless of the reason, try to see it from their perspective by starting with being aware of larger – or local if relevant – news stories.

This is not to say that you can’t talk about anything, ever. Just that you need to take care with potentially sensitive subjects. Sometimes you may even want to take an opposition stance compared to the majority if that’s what your brand is all about.

Simply be aware in general of the general feeling on the topic and how you say things – especially in textual form as it can sometimes be misconstrued.

Just Be

Whether you’re being “yourself” or being someone else, the key to a consumer’s heart is generally not being inconsiderate or rude. While a few have made it their brand, most of us just can’t pull it off, so just be yourself!

If you’d like to contact me regarding communications for your company, I’d love to chat.


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