We hear all the time how social media allows us to put a human face on our business, but I’d venture to say that many brands are stuck on what that really means to their organization. It’s great advice for talking points or to sound really smart when you’re talking to your higher ups, but what does “human business” really mean for your brand? What is it going to get you?
You probably want an example.
How about Buckley’s? If you’re not familiar with Buckley’s, it’s a Canadian cough syrup that I was first introduced to via another Fast Company article about authenticity vs. perfection. In the article, Steve Jones writes about how Buckley’s has found an unlikely way to stand out in its market. Instead of trying to hide, sugarcoat or make excuses for what people have been saying about the product for years, Buckley’s decided to base its marketing around tackling it head-on and just admitting it.
Buckleys – It tastes awful, but it works.
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That’s actually the product’s slogan. And it’s been effective. Buckley’s isn’t going after everyone who is sick, they’re going after adults who are sick and need some tough love. And, personally, I think its genius. They’ve found a relevant, real and appropriate way to market themselves in a crowded market.
Staying human means going beyond the “social thing.” It’s about how the information technologies we have available, together with the media innovations, combined with everything that is unique about our brand, without the barrier of marketing speak, can help us build professional-personal relationships where we were not able to do so years ago.
What is Human Social Media?
Human social media is evolved social media. It is soft skills vs. software; people vs. platforms. It goes beyond the random acts of social media and above the discussions of social media platforms to get to what really matters; people, trustworthy relationships and real connections.
Why Does it Matter?
Social media has allowed businesses to humanize their brands, but as much as brands have tried to make that connection and join the conversation, they’ve ignored putting a real human face on their social media community. Using tools like Personas, brands can craft profiles of real human archetypes so they can start having real conversations and stop creating content solely for themselves.
An honest brand is a trusted brand; just as software is not social. Social CRM tools can definitely benefit organizations as much as the social media channels themselves, but organizations are too quick to put platforms before people. It’s time to cut through the clutter of bright shiny objects and get real.
Marketers are already being taught to think of brands as humans, that’s not necessarily new. But in an age of social media, where a brand can tweet and update dozens of times a day, the challenge is to help them come up with interesting things to say, stuff that actually sounds like it’s coming from a real person and means something to the real person on the user end of the social channel. You can only do that if you connect emotionally with the public, building credibility and trust, showing you are there (a real person, not just a faceless brand), just in time, caring about them.
Simply by acknowledging that staying human is the key and being deliberate about humanness in our social media interactions, we will realize how this perspective drives fundamental change in the way we relate to our audience (cutovers, clients, constituents of all sorts) within interactive environments.
Human Social Media in a Nutshell
- Human social media is evolved social media. It goes beyond the random acts of social media and above the discussions of social media platforms to get to what really matters. People, relationships and real connections.
- Using tools like Personas, brands can craft profiles of real human archetypes so they can start having real conversations and stop creating content solely for themselves.
- Social Media Small Talk – this is why we weave things like seasonality and Chase’s Calendar of Events into all of our social media content plans, but it’s really more than that. Social media small talk is key to weaving our brand in the lives and conversations of our constituents. Going where only human social media can go.
- Human-to-Human. Social media was heralded as a way of humanizing brands, but as much as brands have tried to humanize, they’ve ignored putting a real human face on their social media community. Real brand stewards, with a real face and a real name, should be front and center in every brand’s social media community.
- Software is Not Social. Surely social CRM tools can benefit organizations as much as the social media channels themselves, but organizations are too quick to put platforms before people.