8 Tips for Creating Relatable Social Media Content (with Examples)
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From viral posts to engaging stories and interactive polls, social media can help your company connect to its target audience in powerful new ways. But building a strong rapport isn’t always easy.
Creating relatable content requires understanding your target audience’s needs, interests, and frustrations. Plus, each social media platform — from LinkedIn or TikTok — has its own tone, trends, and formats that work. At the end of the day, you want to communicate your message clearly, engage with your audience, and make them feel seen.
As a freelance social media manager, copywriter, and marketer, I’ve spent years learning the ins and outs of social media platforms and how to create high-impact content. In this article, I’ll walk you through my top tips for how to make social media content relatable.
8 tips for creating relatable social media content
Relatable social media content speaks to your target audience’s needs and wants. Whether you’re trying to connect with Gen Z on TikTok, build B2B relationships on LinkedIn, develop an engaged user base on X (formerly Twitter), or create a brand identity on Instagram, building a positive rapport with your audience is key.
But how can you make your posts engaging and relevant to your target customers? If your upcoming strategy focuses on making that personal connection, here are a few great ideas to get you started.
1. Address your audience’s needs and challenges
It’s essential to speak directly to your target audience. An easy way to do this is to use inclusive language like “we” to create a sense of belonging. Steer clear of formal, corporate language — especially if you’re posting on TikTok or X, where shorter, more informal posts are the norm.
Understanding and referring to your audience’s specific needs and pain points will help them feel like you’re on their side. Huel is a great example of a brand that speaks to its audience’s problems — in this case, needing a quick and easy meal or wanting to put on muscle.
One way to do this is to use the PAS (Problem-Agitation-Solution) method:
- State the problem: What obstacle is your audience facing?
- Explain the agitation: How does it get worse?
- Present a Solution: How does your product or service provide a solution?
Or, try the BAB (Before-After-Bridge) method to demonstrate how your brand can positively impact the audience:
- Before: What’s life like without your brand? Think about what the problem might be.
- After: What’s life like when the problem is solved?
- Bridge: How is your product the solution?
It’s a good idea to research your customers’ pain points carefully. To find out more about who your target audience is and what they want, try to:
- Use data drawn from your existing users: Customer surveys or interviews are a great way to collect feedback.
- Draw on wider market research: Look at demographic data and buying habits. Purchase these from market research companies, find in industry reports, or use AI tools like Frase and Google Analytics.
Use social media: Check social media to find communities and subcultures that align with the people you want to reach. Note down themes, pain points, and what type of language is being used.
2. Write the way your audience communicates
Your writing style is one of the most important ways to make your content relatable. Language that mirrors how your audience communicates makes it easy for them to connect to and understand your message. This can include syntax, slang, expressions of speech, and trends, or even inside jokes, emoji, and memes.
For example, to reach an older audience for a luxury travel product, language that’s more formal taps into their desire for a high-end experience. Using the right words to describe the experience — like a cruise that’s “opulent” or has “every comfort included” — aligns with their values. In this case, using youth-oriented slang like “lit” or “fire” won’t feel appropriate.
Here’s what you can do to understand how your target audience speaks:
- Look at Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok posts related to your industry.
- Check hashtags, find influencers, and review competitor posts.
- Note down the positive and negative points highlighted by real users.
- Notice any common language — technical terms, slang, or even certain emoji.
- Be aware of the tone of voice used across the majority of posts. Is it casual? Formal? Funny? Sarcastic?
Next, incorporate what you’ve learned into your posts. To do this:
- Identify 3-5 keywords or phrases commonly used by your target audience and include them in your posts.
- Test out a few example posts with a focus group, made up of members of your target audience, to see if the language lands.
- Find the right tone — and if you’re struggling, use Wordtune to quickly make your writing more casual or formal.
3. Incorporate user-generated content
Another way to incorporate an authentic voice in your content is to feature real customers. User-generated content (UGC) serves as a powerful message that impacts consumer decisions.
A great example of this is the recent revival of Vaseline, an old-fashioned brand that jumped on the beauty trend of “slugging” — covering your face in a thick layer of Vaseline to seal moisture into your skin — that went viral on social media. As a result of the emerging trend, Vaseline partnered with beauty influencers to generate videos using the language the audience could connect with.
To create UGC videos:
- Ask your team members to record short videos of themselves speaking about your brand, product, or service
- Find and collaborate with influencers who are willing to talk about your brand or product.
- Use AI tools, like DeepBrain AI, to generate UGC videos quickly from a script.
4. Focus on hot topics (relevant to your brand)
There’s nothing like jumping on a bandwagon to supercharge your marketing efforts. Events in the news or popular culture can be massive talking points, and referring to these in your content can immediately spark interest in your audience.
Smirnoff recently pulled off a 100-day campaign creating cocktails based on trending hashtags: the #FreedBritney, the Traffic Light, the Web Slinger, the No Cap, and more. Taking inspiration from the “social ingredients” of the moment, Smirnoff capitalized on hot topics like movie releases, popular TV shows, viral memes, trending slang, and news.
This approach will work best when topics overlap with your target audience’s interests. For instance, your LinkedIn audience will appreciate references to top business trends, while your TikTok audience will want snappy videos with nods to pop culture, trending challenges, and more.
To find out what your audience cares about:
- Look at trending topics and hashtags across social media platforms.
- Check search trends, especially segmented by demographics like gender or age if relevant to your target audience.
- Read industry-specific news sites and blogs for up-to-date information
5. Be clear on your values and ethics
Research shows that 82% of shoppers want the brands they buy from to align with their values. Further, 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for more sustainable products, and 58% stop buying from brands they believe are unethical.
So, creating content that shouts about your values, ethics, and the causes you care about is a great way to make it more relatable.
Dove famously blazed a trail early on by including diverse models from “real” backgrounds in its content, largely focused on self-esteem and body positivity. The company has continued this into the modern social media era with its “Dear younger me” series on TikTok. Dove’s content highlights themes of self-love and body positivity and includes UGC videos by young people.
In addition, sustainable phone maker Fairphone does a great job highlighting its company’s values and its products’ ethical features while promoting their technical capacities.
To highlight your values and ethics:
- Make a list of what values you stand by as a company: Look at your mission statement and why your product was created, then have a brainstorming session with your team. Identify what you stand for — or what you would like to stand for.
- Choose the top three most important values from your list.
- Use brainstorming techniques to map out how to highlight these: For example, through UGC videos, images, a hashtag campaign, or a live Q&A session.
- Test your ideas and create a campaign: Start with simple tactics like doing a poll on TikTok or Instagram. See what feedback you get and adjust your campaign accordingly. This will help you keep your values clear and communicate them in a way that relates to your audience.
6. Instagram vs. reality: Share behind the scenes
Creating raw, real content humanizes your brand by showcasing the people behind “the magic,” helping audiences see themselves in your company’s employees.
Consider taking your audience behind the scenes by showing key business processes step-by-step. A factory tour or walkthrough of your manufacturing process can be a powerful way to show what goes into your product.
Conversely, you can bring your founder, CEO, or other key employees into the spotlight to create content that builds a personal relationship with your audience. Uber did this by highlighting a true story of employee heroism. However, you can go for a more casual approach like ASOS does on TikTok with its light-hearted employee interviews.
Some ideas for creating authentic content:
- Start a “Day in the Life” series: Show your audience what it’s like working at your company by creating videos featuring interns to senior management during a typical day at work. Let your employees’ personalities shine through!
- Interview your founder or CEO: Give your audience the backstory of your company or highlight your brand values and mission. Check out Box CEO Aaron Levie’s X profile for a great example of a leader who’s both funny and informative.
- Use trending audio and videos: Look to Instagram and TikTok to pick up ideas from current trends. These are usually humorous, and by incorporating them into your content, you can make your company feel down-to-earth and relatable.
7. Use GIFs and memes
Images can convey meaning in milliseconds. When you use GIFs and memes that are relatable, you’ve got a shortcut to connecting with your audience.
Pick carefully, though. Some memes will stick around for years, while others might be a flash in the pan. Check out what your target customers are posting and talking about to ensure your references are current and meaningful.
Additionally, while some demographics connect strongly with GIFs and memes, they can have a negative connotation for younger users, who may see them as outdated or irrelevant. See Giphy’s fall from grace as Gen Z moves away from using GIFs.
Netflix is a great example of a brand that regularly uses memes in its content. They’re typically drawn from Netflix’s own shows and movies or feature trending images. Netflix uses these memes to poke fun at itself and reference current trends and news to relate to its audience.
To find relevant GIFs and memes:
- Check out what your target audience is posting on different social media platforms.
- Find out which TV shows, movies, and celebrities are most popular with your target demographic and select GIFs and images that resonate.
8. Use humor to connect with your audience
Humor is always relatable — if you can hit your audience’s funny bone. 48% of consumers say they find funny content the most memorable, so it’s definitely a worthwhile strategy to try.
A great example is Old Spice, which reinvigorated its brand with quirky, self-aware advertisements. Old Spice’s social media content builds on this surreal humor to create a strong connection with its audience.
Crafting jokes is perhaps one of the most difficult parts of creating content because humor can be very subjective. But it’s a great way to make your brand feel more personal and create a relaxed, friendly vibe.
Create for your audience
Creating relatable content can level up your social media game. With the right posts, you can build an engaged, loyal audience.
There are various ways to make your content more relatable, from humor to memes to founder interviews. But the right techniques for your brand will depend on your target audience and how best you think you can reach them.
Remember that each platform needs its own approach. So, take the next step and map out a strategy to create great content for different social media platforms. AI can also be a powerful tool to support your content strategy. Read our guide to AI-driven social media marketing and learn how to maximize your efforts.
Why is it important for social media to be relatable?
Relatable social media content helps your audience build a rapport with your brand. It can make your brand seem more authentic and appealing.
How can you make your social media more relatable?
There are several ways to make your social media more relatable. These include building in humor, mirroring the language of your target audience, personalizing your posts to their concerns, and incorporating your brand’s values and ethics.
Are influencers more relatable on social media?
Influencers can help you make your brand relatable because your audience may respond more to people like them who are using and promoting the product.