Social Media Mistake: Up Close and (Not Very) Personal


I just wrapped a story on corporate blogging and the role it plays in broader social media strategies. Intel, Dell, Lenovo and SAP were among the companies that generously shared insights for the story, which should appear on the site soon. (And if there's one thing they all stressed, it's that social media is all about the sharing.)


Another thing they and other experts I spoke with emphasized: Social media is about making personal connections. So it's best to employ a human voice, photo and personality rather than simply feeding headlines, press releases or similar content into blogs, social networks like Facebook or Twitter.


Said Paul Chaney, president of the International Blogging and New Media Association and author of the blog Conversational Media Marketing:


People want to do business with people, not with companies or brands.


Bob Pearson, president of the Blog Council and former vice president of Communities and Conversations at Dell, expressed a similar thought:


Lot of companies do RSS feeds to Twitter accounts and then don't have a personality. We all like the human touch about Twitter. People want to know who is talking to them. They probably won't pay as much attention to companies that just pump in all their content. Same thing with Facebook, where companies simply take their Web site content and put it into a Facebook page and try to attract fans. Why would people care?


D'oh. Take a gander at IT Business Edge's profile page on Twitter. Here's our Facebook profile page. That's our logo, and those are our glorified RSS feeds showing new blog posts.


I think the content is of interest to most if not all of our fans and followers. But personal? No. Personal is a little challenging in these instances, since we feature content from multiple bloggers and not just one. The company wants to promote our overall brand vs. spotlighting any of us individually.


What do you think? Maybe we should rotate and take turns adding some pithy comments or other more personal touches in these places? Or should those of us with our own Facebook and Twitter profiles focus on getting personal there? (Gulp. I have yet to import a photo into Twitter.)