Five companies with a human social media presence

human social media connection

 

By Mandy Edwards, {grow} Community Member

Right now “being human” is an important theme for businesses. But how do you achieve this across an enterprise? I thought it would be interesting to look at five organizations who seem to be connecting in a particulaly effective way.

Mark Schaefer stated in a recent article that we need to strive to be be more human because “Ultimately people will buy from who they know, who they trust.”

Our customers want to relate, be accepted and be noticed. Many businesses are catching on, whether “signing” their tweets like The Bank of Ireland, or restaurants that now accept “tweet ahead seating,” businesses are infusing their social media presence with life and acknowleding the needs of their customers.

I spent time looking around the web and thinking back to experiences I have had and these five businesses stood out in a human way.

American Cancer Society

They engage with their online community responding to fans and congratulating survivors in an intimate way.

cancer 2

They feature everyday people on social media and in their YouTube videos in their quest to raise money to cure cancer.

They actively reach out in many ways and connect with people through active involvement. An example is hosting a Google HOA with GE Healthcare to talk about cancer prevention. They also reach out and feature actual survivors in much of their content:

human social media connection

Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is a chain of restaurants that gets involved in whatever their raving fans are doing on a local level, whether cheering at a football game or celebrating a birthday.

chick 2

The company is one of the few that is effectively integrating their paid advertising presence with social media connection. Their “spokes cow” has its own social media account, adding whimsy and fun to the company personality. You will find him everywhere and in everything. He (she?) brings the company to life and creates opportunities for social sharing and covnersation.

The company also connects to real-time events and conversations … like a World Cup goal from the home team: chick

Sprout Social

Sprout shines a light on their customers every chance they get and makes them the stars of their social media scene. For example, they feature their customers in weekly best practice articles.

They also empower their employees to have their own Twitter handles to engage with the community.

Any time a fan or customer mentions them, they always respond and don’t be surprised if you get rewarded for your support!

Buffer

When employees tweet on the corporate Buffer account, they always sign their name so you know who you are talking to.

They maintain an extraordinarily transparent business operation. Search “transparency” on their site and you’ll see all you want to know.

The company received kudos for the immediate and transparent way they handled downtime that resulted from a hacking attack. It was a bad situation, but they actually helped create customer loyalty by the very honest and human way they handled the crisis.

Buffer also publishes a weekly online diary letting us know what they are working on and who is doing what. It’s almost like you’re part of the company.

WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)

Every person in this huge entertiainment franchise has their own Twitter handle and the WWE empowers them to use it to their advantage — staying real and promoting human connections. It adds an extraordinary element of intimacy to a business based on grand productions.

The WWE also takes an active role working with child-related charities, the Special Olympics and efforts to support the military. Showing their heart through social media posts helps fans connect in an emotional way.

Post by WWE.

The WWE encourages their fans to tweet with them during each of their live shows. Michael Cole, one of the announcers, will read fan tweets at random, making them feel like they are part of the show themselves.

When looking at these businesses, I saw four themes that helped them stand out and connect in a human way:

  1. They were active online in both posts and personalized responses
  2. They were engaging with their fans on a local level
  3. The companies gave back to their fans in a way that enabled emotionall connection
  4. They encouraged individual employees to build direct emotional connections with customers

How does your business measure up? Are you striving to be human? Are there company examples you would like to share?

mandy edwardsMandy Edwards is the owner of ME Marketing Services, providing social media consulting services. Follow her on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Top illustration courtesy of Flickr CC and B.S. Wise

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