My girl Sally Strebel tagged me in a little project started by Mitch Joel to state what we think are some of the best practices for Social Media Marketing.
Heuer and I were just talking about this topic as we reviewed a chapter he is writing for his upcoming book The Social Media Playbook [note to self, we need to get Wiley to design a new cover – stat] and I could list several practices I think are key to any Marketing campaign (Be Open, Be Transparent, Be Responsive, Be Aware…etc), but there is one practice that stands above all others:
What does ‘being human‘ really mean? For me, it is exposing enough of yourself so people know who they are speaking/dealing with, and can feel confident in the communications they receive from you. It is showing compassion to those around you and talking to them as human beings – not as customer #8609 or member #10,356.
Humans by nature crave personal contact and companies who allow their employees to ‘be human’ will build tighter relationships with their customers, which I believe, will lead to a stronger brand overall (look at Dell, Zappos and Comcast who realized this and are seeing the benefits from it now). Don’t send me to an automated call center where pushing ‘0’ keeps me in an infinite technical loop. Give me the option to push ‘0’ and speak to someone live. Give me a name, some background, some reason to bond with your company. Odds are good I will be/become a happy customer because you did.
I believe I am so successful in roles I fill is because I live by this philosophy. My clients know me. They know what my role in the company is and what I stand for. They know when I tell them something, they can believe it. It doesn’t matter who I work for – they can trust me because they know me. Granted, I live my life a little more openly than some, but also tend to have stronger relationships with people because of it. This is a powerful thing (when used for good of course). Companies who allow me to ‘be human’ in my interactions will reap the benefits because your customers will know there is someone willing to put her reputation on the line to make sure your customer walks away from the transaction – happy. I do this because you trust me to be me, and I respect you for that. Therefore, I am going the extra mile to ensure your customer respects you too. Everyone wins here.
I would love to hear thoughts you all as well as those from Heuer, Jackie, Jake, Todd and Shel (keeping with the meme to tag five people).