How to humanise your business through social media

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One of the changes that digital marketing is making on businesses in the second decade of the 21st century is enabling them to emphasise their human element. After all, at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that people buy from people, and not necessarily from corporations or even brands.

Therefore businesses should not lose sight of the people who are an integral part of the organisation, eg the stakeholders (in the broadest sense), which includes the owners, staff, customers, suppliers, media and maybe more, depending on the size and nature of the business.

By promoting this ‘people power’ through social media, which includes blogging, it’s important to remember the communication factors that have created this social revolution. Social media is ‘social’, it thrives in conversations, comments, feedback, real-time responses, immediate interaction with the people who matter: past, present and prospective customers.

Therefore it’s imperative that customers realise there is a human element behind the scenes. Real twitterers who respond to tweets about their business, ask a question or present a statement that is relevant to the organisation. Real bloggers who respond to comments and feedback as soon as they are posted, or write a relevant and value added post to answer a scenario brought up yesterday, or even hours ago.

We live in a world of ‘now’, real-time slipping through out fingers, yesterday’s news that actually happened only minutes ago, culturing a mentality of immediate responses, lack of patience and prompt reactions. It requires real people to adapt to these stimulae, react and respond to the matter at hand – and most important of all, to provide the ‘human’ side that determines them from robots and technology.

Only humans can gossip, taunt, laugh, joke, ask pertinent questions, quip, create puns, offer on the spot advice, commiserate, empathise, understand, comprehend, respond effectively to difficult questions, see a point of view, make us laugh, go out of their way to find the answer – and much more.

So don’t be embarrassed to be ‘human’ when you write your posts, send your tweets and respond to a Facebook tag. This doesn’t mean losing your cool or revealing anything unsuitable about yourself (unless it’s relevant), but it does mean talking about your mistakes as much as your successes, facing your foibles as much as promoting your expertise, telling a story as well as relating a case study, expressing happiness as well as reporting business news.

And the more your customers sense how ordinary your business is, not just a faceless corporation with oversea call centres and uninterested managers who only tow the party line, the more likely they feel they could get real value, good customer service and a real feel of ‘completeness’ when buying from you.

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