8 May 2013


Add That Personal Touch To Your Business Social Media Channels

You have been told time and time again that the more human you are on your business social media channels, the more successful you will be, but how do you actually achieve this?

Can this be done by having a brand that is engaging, by using colloquial language in your posts or by writing comments that will relate to your target audience? The answer is all of these, but there is so much more that businesses should be considering when promoting their business through social media, specifically how humans interact.

Let’s talk linguistics

In particular let’s talk about “code switching”. This linguistics term relates to when someone switches between multiple languages during a conversation. An example of this is;

You’re at home after a long day at work, enjoying a cup of tea and gossiping with a close friend. Your phone starts to ring and it is your boss from work. Whilst on the phone the language you use alters from when you were gossiping with your friend. Words become a lot more pronounced and your voice comes across as more professional. You put the phone down and your friend burst out laughing, impersonating your voice. This is what’s known as “code switching”.

Everyone does this. When speaking with co-workers and superiors we tend to adopt a more corporate tone, whereas when talking with friends or family your tone is generally more relaxed. Even though there is a definite change in our tone, we are still using our own voice, according to Gene Demby;

“Many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We're hop scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities — sometimes within a single interaction” (ww.npr.org).

“Code switching” has an effect on social media, a big effect. The line between professional and personal is blurred with social media and this with our need to “code switch” means that we need to be careful with how we brand ourselves on social media.

Our habit of “code-switching” highlights the fact that depending on the social situation, we will express a different aspect of our personality. Not only this but the different aspects of our personality are always present, they are the fundamentals of our makeup. It can be argued that all these different aspects of our personality affect our decision making.

For example, when a user stumbles onto to your Twitter or Facebook page, it is not the case that they will only pay attention to the content that only relates to their company or career. Whilst it may be the case that her professional personality will take centre stage; whilst making a decision other parts of their personality will also influence the final decision such as; their love of rock music, they live in the countryside, they’ve had a rough week etc. Marketers should acknowledge this behaviour and use it to their advantage; users need to be treated like human beings and not purely as a potential sale. Marketing campaigns should aim to connect with people at any given opportunity.

Don’t forget about your marketing objectives

Whilst it is important to ensure that you are connecting with users on a human level, be careful not to forget about your marketing objectives all together. It’s all about having the right balance and knowing how to present your product/service.

As a general rule of thumb; your brand should become “human”, in other words you should aim to give it a personality. This will help you to make sure that a connection is made between your brand and the user and a connection is only successfully made when both sides have something in common. Think about it; if the user is influenced by both their professional and personal personality and you only aim to attract their professional personality, then straight away you are limiting the successfulness of the connection.

How can I make sure that my brand is human? It’s simple really; when promoting your brand try and come across as being genuine and passionate; the more genuine and passionate you come across the better chance you have of making a sale. Think about it in real life; you are more likely to listen to someone who comes across as being sincere about what they are saying.

It takes time

I am not saying that this will be an easy process. Developing your brands personality in social media will take time, but if you stick at it you will gradually start to see the rewards. People will start to know your brand’s personality and thus start to trust your company as a whole and what you sell.

Written By Sarah


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