Socialize With Your Consumers

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Technology enthusiasts all around the globe celebrated Social Media Day last week, brought to you by Mashable. While I didn’t partake in any of the festivities in the Bay Area, the celebration of social media and how quickly it’s impacted our lives led me to think more about how marketers are using social media.

In the beginning, social media was used solely to connect with other people. But as marketers have entered the realm of social media and have begun leveraging it themselves, some may feel as if brands are trying to take over what once was a “personal” communication channel.
Obviously, for the sake of the success of these sites, advertising must exist and brands must have ways to engage the consumer.

But they need to do so in a manner that feels personal. Consumers don’t like to be spoken to in marketing copy on Facebook. I once heard that you should present yourself on Facebook the same way you would converse with a friend over a beer. And on Twitter, slightly step up the professional tone, but still keep it light. We go on social media to escape, that doesn’t mean we won’t engage with brands, but it needs to remain a social medium. Be personal, engaging and don’t underestimate your audience – they’ll see right through your tone.

In my eyes, Social Media Day was ultimately a celebration of the ways in which people connected with other people – and not necessarily how they connect with other brands. That isn’t to say that brands don’t have their place on social media channels, they do, but they need to know when to put their message up front and when to step aside.