How much humanity is too much? (And other good questions)

July 12th, 2010

Leonardo da Vinci's sketch of a skull“How much humanity is too much?” That’s my paraphrase of a question asked by an attendee at our recent online marketing & new media masterclass (we’re thinking of a catchier title).

In context, the question was about tone and manner. And like all good questions, the answer depends on a lot of different things.

If your business is small and owner-operated, you cannot get human enough. People do business with people, and if you can show the personality behind your brand, you’ll do two things: 1) you’ll build a genuine emotional connection with your customers, and 2) you’ll save yourself the time and effort of faking it.

If your business is large and service-oriented, it gets a wee bit trickier. Zappos is famous for having over 400 employees interacting with customers through Twitter. Other companies also have employees combining personal and business information into one account, such as the Dell team Richard, Lionel et al.

Sure, customers may say they just want business stuff, but just a little bit of humanity makes a difference. It’s really important that the people you choose to represent your brand understand and reflect that brand. Because unlike a press release or an advertisement, there’s no rehearsal for social media. It’s a live, fully improvised performance. Much like a call centre, but in public view. And just like a call centre, you need to find the right people to face the customer.

Join the conversation in Wellington

If you missed the Auckland masterclass, it’s okay. There’s another one coming up next week in Wellington. Bring your burning questions about social media or online marketing. You’ll get a detailed workbook and also numbers are small enough to drill into your specific questions.

Find out more and register here.

(Photo from onefish2. thanks!)

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