Human Connection in Social Media

Posted by John H. Heinrichs

Jun 16

The Problem of the Human Connection in Social Media

It’s astonishing Human_Connection_in_Social_Media_2-018049-editedhow people of all ages desire a human connection - and inbound technology is simply the sharing of old-school values.  How did I find this out? 

I put myself in a very different type of social situation for my inbound information technology MBA class. I wanted extra credit enough to volunteer to promote a photo gallery app at the Detroit Auto Show.  Being shy and reserved had no place there!

In Detroit’s own Cobo Hall, I spoke with many attendees of the International Auto Show.   I took their pictures and talked about the contest this particular app was having with a big travel prize to Paris!  I instructed people to download the app, locate a specific album in the app, open it, and uncover a number.  They were then asked to log onto the website provided on the card and enter said number in the entry field.  This spiel was a handful to say, but I enjoyed the interaction with the crowd.  Having learned some industry jargon since then, I now know this kind of page is called a landing page.  A landing page is a page that is used to get information.

But how difficult is it to reach that point where someone opens up about themselves?  How problematic was it to reach such a diverse group of people?  All with different values, lifestyles, interests, personas (and yes, I did use that word purposely), and ages? 

Here are five things I learned from my experience.

  1. You can’t forget the human element.  The marketer’s job is to attract strangers in order to talk to them, so the marketer can learn a little bit about that person and their traits.  The marketer will be after answers to questions like “is this person a good fit for the solution my company is offering?” The fact about this process that people may not realize is that firms that utilize inbound technology are marketing to people and their traits, not to numbers and statistics.
  2. You have to hear what people are saying to you.  Whether you are on a social media website or having a face-to-face conversation, you need to work on your listening skills.  Often times this requires reading between the lines, or even paying attention to subtle cues.  The hunt for information is never-changing, and firms want to discover what drives consumers into the buyer lifecycle funnel.  People will readily give certain information out if you are listening.
  3. People are interested in talking about themselves.  It just so happens that that is what inbound marketers do.  They want to know more about you, you are a person to them.  They cater to personas- a profile of traits that are humanistic rather than statistic.  The more information you are willing to give about yourself, the more the company can help solve your problem.
  4. The generational gap is only one of technology.  Emotionally, it is all the same.  People love to connect with things that make them feel good, and sometimes being a consumer is one of those things! Interaction and the sharing of ideas is both universal and timeless, which leads me to my last point.
  5. Old-school is not dead.  Chivalry is now called delighting the customer, introductions are now attractions, and word of mouth is now called the platform of social media!  What an exciting time for old-school customer focus to revive itself, and it only gets better from here.

What did I want you to take away from this?  The humanness of inbound marketing. If you take away the technological aspect, the values of old-school humanity resound itself.

(All credit and accolades for this tremendous blog post are for Mindy Boroska who is the author and content creator.)

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