Friday, January 24, 2014

Why Your Corporate Social Media Accounts Should Be Human

I love it when I come across something that makes me say "Yes!"

This happened today when I saw the above tweet from +Smashing Magazine. Social media from a corporate perspective is not an easy thing. Your brand must have a voice, a personality. It's a big part of its identity. And never before has this voice been as important as it is now with social media. Why? Because instead of talking to your customer, you now must talk with them. That voice, whatever its characteristics, has to be a human one if you're going to have meaningful interactions with people. That's what they expect, after all.

This is why it's best not to try to automate the entire process of social media. Scheduling certain posts in advance is occasionally necessary. But, an automated response to a customer complaint based off of keywords that can get context all wrong is a really bad idea. You may find yourself with a much bigger problem if an automated mistake goes viral, showing the world that you don't care enough to man these accounts with employees.

Instead, we must let ourselves be real...and available. Social media does more for a brand than build awareness. It builds trust, even likability. What's more, a lot of insight can be gained from customers on Twitter or Google+. Need some quick, honest feedback? Ask for it on your social media accounts. This medium can create a real connection that can last with customers, and cause them to talk you up to their own networks. It can make them feel like they have a voice, and that you care enough to listen to it. We must appreciate the opportunity as brands, and take full advantage of it by being social. We can do that from behind a logo. We just have to put our voice out there.