Being human at scale: marketing that connects in an age of automation

Michael Stelzner, Founder & CEO, Social Media Examiner, said something at Social Media Marketing World that really resonated with me, “We need to be more human at scale.” I’ve been thinking a lot about what that really means in practice for both individuals and brands. It comes down to marketing that connects in an age of automation. There are days when technology, social media, and automation seem to have taken over. You know those days, when your teen looks at you funny when you suggest they actually use their phone to call and talk to someone. (I secretly want to place an old rotary dial phone in the kitchen and then call from my cell to watch their response!)

I’m not suggesting we buck technology, automation and our incredibly connected online world at all. However, I do think that now more then ever, human connection matters. We are human after all. We crave personal contact.

I did this video on Easter weekend as a shout out on social media to newsletter subscribers about Sunday morning’s content – now published here in this blog post.

Back to basics. Back to being human. But do it at scale.

I think there’s real opportunity in going back to basics and being more human. And if you can figure out to do that at scale, using technology and social media, even better. That’s a little of what I’m doing this week broadcasting out this newsletter. What might that look like?

1. Do more video. Let people see and hear you. Yah, you’re not perfect, just get over it. Being you is personable – lumps, wrinkles, quirks and all. For companies, showing the people behind the business can help, and being humble enough to make a few mistakes can actually go a long way in being real.

2. Utilize audio. Podcasts and interviews let people hear your voice. It’s human nature to find connection through sound – especially to the 1/3 of audio learners. As above, having a representative “voice” for the business or brand is a great way to go. Or you could have multiple voices that collectively tell the story.

3. Write like you speak. Drop the corporate lingo and write like you’re communicating with a friend. If you do it well enough, they will “hear your voice” when they read your words. That’s when you know you’ve struck gold. Having a “personality and tone of voice” in written copy is a very effective way for customers to feel more connected to a company.

4. Utilize automation selectively.
Unless you’re prepared to monitor it, be careful what you automate. Especially when the impression is there is someone on the other side.

5. Actually meet people. Good old conversations and networking never gets old. Can you say truthfully that you know everyone you are connected with on LinkedIn? Perhaps that’s the ultimate test of being human at scale.

Hopefully this has given you something to think about as you nibble the ears off that chocolate bunny – oh who am I kidding, that chocolate is likely now long gone now that Easter has passed! Until next week, let’s be more human – OK?

Did you find this content useful? Would you like to get tips and content like this delivered directly to your inbox every Sunday morning? Subscribe to my 5-Minute Marketing Tips Newsletter HERE.

Mary Charleson

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