Humblebrag Without Losing Customers: Strategies to Keep Your Brand Likable

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As a small business owner or content marketer, it’s your job to brag about all the wonderful things you have going on in your company. Awards, great reviews, and press coverage are all part of the social proof you need to share to promote yourself.

But you don’t want to look arrogant or self-serving. There’s a fine line between humblebragging and plain ol’ bragging. Luckily, there are some no-fail strategies that can help you stay on the right side of that line.

Take note of these humblebrag strategies for brands so you sound humble and loveable whenever it’s time to toot your own horn.

Learn the art of the humblebrag for your brand. Here are effective tactics to keep your brand likable while you share your achievements. #marketing Click To Tweet

It’s not bragging — it’s social proof

First, if you’re an entrepreneur who’s new to self-promotion, you might need to shift the way you think about sharing achievements and accolades. In social settings, talking about your success comes off as arrogant or selfish.

But in business, it’s known as “social proof,” and it’s totally acceptable. In fact, you should be sprinkling social proof liberally all over your website, social media, and other marketing.

The theory is that most people feel more comfortable taking a new action — like becoming a customer of your company —  if they think people around them are doing it, too. Sharing things like awards, reviews, and numbers of happy clients served is proof that other people are using and liking your products or services.

3 humblebrag strategies for brands

So, if you’re balking at sharing your successes because it feels like bragging, try switching your brain over to marketing lingo and think of it as social proof. Then use one of these three strategies to put more humility in your humblebrag.

1. “I’d like to thank the Academy…”

When you want to share that you’ve won an award or achieved a big goal, talk about how grateful you are. Express your gratitude to the organization that handed out the prize or your customers who helped you achieve the goal.

Of course, while you’re talking about how thankful you are, all the achievement details get slipped into the conversation.

Here’s how to humblebrag for your brand:

  • We’re all verklempt over being included in this list of the top 10 museums in the country! The competition for this list is so fierce, and we’re so grateful to be included.
  • Thank you, Guidestar, for granting us Platinum Status again this year. This recognition is the highest status the organization offers, and it means the world to us.
  • We’re so grateful to our customer Sue Benton for her kind words about our business.

Here are some real-world examples direct from some savvy brands on Instagram.

You can see how both of these brands have applied humblebrag strategies to announce accomplishments and thank those who got them there.

2. “You all are amazing!”

If there’s any way you might share your social proof by talking about how awesome your audience is, then do it. Make it all about them.

This approach can incorporate gratitude but gives it an extra spin by focusing on what great people your customers are. For example, they are so loyal to have voted for you, or so thoughtful to take the time to leave a lovely review, or they donated to your organization because they are so compassionate.

Again, although your content focuses on a “you” message, it should also include some detail about your brand’s achievement.

  • Because of your compassion and generosity, our organization was able to exceed all its goals last year.
  • You spoke, we listened, and look how it paid off for us both.
  • Your thoughtful reviews have helped us reach the top ten local businesses on Yelp.

Here are some examples of Instagram humblebrags that praise the reader.

Both of these brands applied humblebrag strategies on Instagram to let followers know of their success.

3. ” Shoutout to our team”

Another way to toot your horn and still come off as a likable brand is by focusing the message on the team members who earned the achievement.

Unless you’re a solopreneur, nearly every accomplishment belongs to your team. As a leader, you probably refer to your company as “we” instead of “I” in your outreach, but this approach goes further by distancing yourself from the praise. It’s as if you’re stepping aside and pushing your staff to the forefront to receive applause.

  • We’re so proud of our entire staff for their hard work this month. Look at what they accomplished!
  • Our team has, once again, been awarded the Silver Prize by the leading organization in our industry.
  • [Influencer] was so impressed by our team member Jarod that they shared this post about us on Instagram.

Here’s an example of a company shifting praise to their staff:

Get the ball rolling

To start humblebragging without alienating your audience, make a list of the social proof you might share that would reassure people about doing business with you.

For example:

  • Awards you’ve won
  • Certifications you’ve earned
  • Number of clients served, products sold, etc
  • High averages on rating sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor
  • Individual glowing reviews from clients
  • Industry accolades

Couch each happy fact about your brand in a statement of gratitude or praise for someone else. Then sprinkle your humblebrags liberally across your website, social media queue, and blog post calendar.

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About the author

Lauren Haas

Lauren Haas is an entrepreneur and writer with a passion for small business and marketing. Based on more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, she writes about content marketing and other small business topics for a variety of websites and creates strategies for clients.