Social Media–Be Open and Be Human

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Social marketing earns, not buys attention, so have an opinion, be true to what you say, be of value, be open—above all, be human.

As markets become conversations, customer relationships and advertising models are changing for good. Passive consumption becomes active interaction. Monologue becomes dialogue. Control becomes collaboration. Customers are empowered, well informed, and connected. Companies are becoming more transparent whether they like it or not.

It's an environment in which the balance of effective communication shifts from being less about interruption to more about participation, less about delivering a message to more about being part of a conversation, less about what you say to people and more about what people are saying about you.

Career-MediaIt's an environment that operates to social principles—creating not subtracting value, serving a larger purpose than your own, being useful, and facilitating.

More human elements matter like having a point of view, being true to yourself and what you say, being open, honest, and transparent. Ford uses social media to "humanize the Ford brand and put consumers in touch with Ford employees," says Scott Monty, and the company regularly reaches out to bloggers for feedback and to encourage the spread of positive word of mouth.

Clothing and shoe company Zappos believes that its "culture is their brand" and use social media to create touch points throughout every area of its business and ensure customer service isn't just a department, it’s the entire company. Authenticity is the currency that encourages trust, involvement, and engagement. Authenticity is what turns an audience into a following.

Source: Jon Leuty Photo: Alicja Stolarczyk

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