The Personal Era

Today i was reading a lot of posts about how to promote a new service or product on-line. The discussion went this issue should be approached: get a business account or get the person in charge promote it with his or her personal accounts in the social media and communication channels used by the community.

The first thing i will try to avoid is saying “target market” because now we don’t like to be targets of anybody. The second thing is that we will assume the product is excellent and useful for the community.

Having established that, the first discovery made by Mel Kirk on her Personal vs. Professional post is that you can get up to 10 time more responses from a personal account than from a business account. So this is a signal that people prefer to contact someone with a face, a personality and the human touch. The conclusion that i have came to  is that now, more than ever, the power of voice is getting more powerful (yes I’m being redundant) and people are only listening to other people about products.

THE COLD FEELING OF JUST THE PROFESSIONAL CONTACT

The feeling of talking to a twitter account that is named XYZ INC. is very impersonal and cold. You don’t know who the person behind that keyboard is, what is he feeling or if he even uses the product. While if you can contact a person like for example @johndoe you can actually follow his life problems as well as his work problems and his experience with the product. The first rule is then: The person in charge of the communications should be using the product everyday as any user or costumer will do. The Second one should be that the person needs to use his or her personal account to share her views of the product as well as their opinions and life events.

The business or professional account is also important. Ok so people follow the person and the professional account to get the full coverage but knowing who is behind the professional site responses. So that way if the person or team in charge of the communications goes from the company the company can promote their product with the business account and introduce the new communications person or team to the users. Sometimes even the old communications person will introduce the new one from her twitter account. The third rule that comes from this is that the professional contact is also important for the company.

KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE

So, the social contact is becoming more important as the tools are making it possible. We prefer to be in touch with a person that with a company. For example we prefer to be more in touch with Jason Calacanis than with a Mahalo twitter or friendfeed account. I think that this has been all the time and now that it is possible for us to have it we demand it more than ever.

It has always been true that we prefer a opinion from a friend ten times over a good advertisment. That’s why since a long time ago Marketing experts have been giving a lot of importance to the power of voice and the excellence in costumer service. Now that social media allows us to follow almost anyone in sites like Twitter, Friendfeed, Jaiku, etc; we demand to see the people behind the companies there and get to know them better. Get to know how they feel, how real they are and what problems and everyday news they have to tell us. I guess that is why this magazines about the “private” life of the artists sell a lot (Refering to Mel’s post again).

To syntetize, we prefer to be in touch with people than with companies, but still the business account has a importance in keeping updates of the service (as long as it comes with a personal account attached). So the approach (as Mel states on her post and as i think too) is to have a mixed strategy and used both types of communication.

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  1. Thanks for the shout out – totally agree with you – I think both methods of communication are required with varying reliance on each depending on the stage of the project 🙂




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