Bad news for brands: Facebook is throttling the number of people who see your updates. Recent research from Social@Ogilvy shows the average organic reach of a post fell from 12.05% in October of last year to 6.15% this February. One reason for this significant drop is Facebook wants to make money from basically forcing companies to pay for advertising.

Another reason for this dip in reach is to emphasize the reason why Facebook, Twitter and other mediums exist: social media helps people be social. Nine times out of ten a user isn’t logging on thinking, “I can’t wait to see what my favorite businesses are up to!” They want to see the latest news from family and friends. By limiting the exposure of branded posts in its users’ newsfeed, Facebook can show more posts from people they care about.

On social media, the biggest competitor for your audience’s attention isn’t huge corporations like Disney, Red Bull or even Maersk. Your message is up against the news that a user’s best friend recently became engaged, or pictures from a relative’s recent vacation. If your post sounds like an advertisement, it can feel intrusive to your followers’ social media experiences. That means they’ll ignore it, no matter how many dollars you spend boosting its visibility.

Companies that get noticed on social media make posts like people. They share important and engaging news, events or images. They don’t repetitively send out out self-promotional messages. If you had a friend who only talked about their amazing qualities, you’d probably block them. Businesses who exclusively broadcast sales pitches get unliked or unfollowed even quicker.

To see what posting like a person looks like in practice, let’s check out Arby’s Twitter account. They sent the following tweet while Pharrell performed at the Grammy’s wearing this spectacular hat:

This hat not only sparked a Twitter frenzy, but also made the headgear of Canadian Mounties seem infinitely more stylish.

Arby's Successful Tweet

Arby’s message is entertaining, goofy and doesn’t mention their deliciously guilty sandwiches at all. It also resulted in 40,000 social media mentions, 160 million impressions and 6,000 new Twitter followers for the brand. That’s a lot of people thinking Arby’s the next time they’re hungry. The fast food company’s success here is a result of a carefully calculated voice that sounds like a human being, not a brand. By later purchasing Pharrell’s hat in an online charity auction, Arby’s used this event to generate some stellar PR.

Your business doesn’t have to be a national restaurant chain to get social media users listening when you speak. Craft messages with your audience’s interests in mind and they’ll respond.