robots

Domo Arigato: No More Mr. Roboto

Hey there! How’s it going?

I hope that simple opening gave you a hint that you’re reading a blog post written by a real person, and not a robotic salesperson who is making yet another pitch for you to buy his product or service.

But if not … Last time I checked, I was a real-live human person. And the last time you checked, I’ll bet you were too.

So why do so many people have such a hard time communicating like one on Facebook?

There’s a reason why it’s called a social media site: It’s because people can connect with other people there, and can interact with each other. When you use the site just to sell fans on your products and services, no one wants to listen, and you miss a valuable opportunity to engage customers, clients, members, supporters, and prospects, and to build your business or organization in the process.

Remember: Marketing is no longer about Business to Business, or Business to Consumer. It’s about Person to Person.

These days, people want to buy from, work, and collaborate with people they know, like, and trust. They don’t want to support businesses and organizations they know nothing about.

One of the best ways to make stronger connections with your fans is to act like an actual person on Facebook. Here are 6 ways to do that.

1. Write like you speak.

Drop all the marketing- and sales-speak. One great result of social media is that it has allowed businesses and organizations to speak in a more casual voice with their fans. This means you can be funny and loose in the ways you get your messages across. Write to your fans like they’re people, not customers, clients, or donors, because that’s exactly what they are.

2. Be present.

Instead of just posting content, make sure you’re also responding to comments and are responsive to the replies of your fans. The more you actually engage, the more your fans will know there’s a real person behind your Facebook Page.

3. Share your passion.

You don’t just own a business or work for an organization. You’re passionate about what you do and the cause you support. So don’t miss an opportunity to express that.

That’s exactly what Mark Armantrout and Paul Fehribach do on the Facebook Page for their Chicago restaurant, Big Jones. “We decided soon after opening that we wanted to be able to tell our story, in our own words, without a filter,” Mark explains. To that end, the Page includes photos with fun captions, contests where fans guess the ingredients in various dishes, and links to blog posts where Mark and Paul share their passion for southern cooking at greater length.

 

4. Show, don’t tell.

Photos and videos are perhaps the best way to show that actual people are involved with your business or organization. What’s a typical day like for you? Take a photo at some point and show people what you’re up to. Document your next team outing, or what you did to celebrate a holiday. Share a video of you saying how much you love your customers, or sharing your expertise or tips for using your products. Because photos and videos let people actually see and hear you, your fans can make a more personal connection with you.

5. Involve your team.

Who are the people you work with, who your customers, clients, and supporters may come into contact with? Introduce your fans to your waitstaff, service associates, consultants, masseurs and masseuses, volunteers, dog walkers, etc. by posting photos, quotes, and more. Better yet, why not share video footage of your team to highlight your weird or wacky culture?

6. Let your customers play a role.

Your fans love you. Let their very human and personable voice come through, either by sharing their tips for using your products, picking their favorite service that you offer, sharing why they support you, or by introducing themselves to their fellow fans. Let your customers rave about your business, product, or service, then share the video on your Page — it will make you seem more human in the process.

What it comes down to is that you shouldn’t think about Facebook as a marketing tool, but rather, as just as an extension of yourself. Acting, speaking, and sharing the same way you do offline will allow you to come across as a more authentic, human person, and as a result, your fans will come to feel a greater connection with you and your business or organization.

How do you share your real, authentic self on Facebook? Share your thoughts and examples in the comments section below.

Comments:

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  1. […] down how you’re going to accomplish your goals, and most importantly, be yourself! Check out this great article from Constant Contact on how to let your authentic self come through. You’re not Coca-Cola, some big, nameless brand, […]

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  2. First things first–quite possibly the best blog title ever. The image also fits the post perfectly. Well done!

    I love your point about writing like you speak. From my experience, that always makes your content feel so much more conversational and engaging. It also helps you identify your unique “voice” –that one thing that will help differentiate you from your competitors as you start to own your personal brand.

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      Thanks, Shawn!
      So glad you like the headline, image, and post. I like your point too. :-)

      Reply
    • LOL

      Agreed Shawn, that title was awesome.

      Martin, I sometimes have to contend with the fact that as our community manager I want to be more playful and humorous on our page, but my boss wants us to be really, super professional on our social channels. I agree, but I also think we can still do that while showing our personality, especially since we work in a creative industry (We’re in advertising). Where is the line between being engaging, human, and fun, but not sounding unprofessional and definitely not falling into Mr. Roboto territory?

      Reply
      • Martin Lieberman •

        Glad you like the headline too, Brandy. :-)

        I think the line is where your comfort level is. It’s different for every business or organization.

        But sometimes you can be warmer and more personal simply by doing subtle things like using different words (“we” or “us” instead of the name of your firm, for example). You don’t have to use slang to be engaging. You just have to talk like a person, not like you’re writing a formal document.

        You can also do it by showing more photos of people, in addition to the work you’ve done. Let people see there are real people working at your firm, and that the campaigns you create don’t just magically appear.

        Hope that helps!

        Reply
  3. […] Before breaking into a cold sweat, remember that the average Facebook post lives for less than a day in a fan’s newsfeed. Not only that, fans like seeing personality on Facebook, and every post helps establish that, yes, there’s a human behind the business or organization’s messages. […]

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  4. […] Most importantly, when you respond, make sure you do so in a warm, human voice, not a stiff, robotic one. People are often more comfortable venting and sharing negative feedback when they feel like […]

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  5. […] yourself. It’s called social networking for a reason. If you’re not engaging and showing personality, why […]

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  6. Well written and to the point Martin. I think many fb users miss this boat completely and never actually engage their friends, fans and followers. I think even more fail to do it on the business side of things. Without the interaction, it’s all about you and your business and not at all about the reader or potential prospect. So again, nicely done!

    So what’s your take on using personal profiles rather than business profiles for building and branding business pages? I see tons of people only marketing their business pages via their personal profiles. Regardless if they sound robotic, automated or human, what would be your suggestion to them? I personally like to use both my personal and business profiles on my business page. It my experience it’s been helpful for people to see who actually operates the page.

    I’ll be sharing a link to this post on my fb marketing page for my clients to see and read for themselves, as I do with everything I find and learn that I think is helpful.

    Cheers from Wyo!
    Shane @ Comeback Marketing LLC

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      Thanks, Shane! I appreciate it.

      My take on personal profile vs Page is that you should not use your personal profile to market your business. Dave Charest wrote a nice blog post about this “debate” a couple weeks ago. Here’s a link:
      http://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/social-media-marketing/facebook-page-vs-profile-championship/
      And we have some info on the Social Media Quickstarter about the distinction between profiles, Pages, and groups:
      http://www.socialquickstarter.com/content/17-profile_page_or_group

      Regardless, you can certainly be personal and human on a Page. By that I mean warm and personable, not that you should share the same photos and updates with your customers and clients that you would with friends and relatives. I get it: Work is personal, and in many cases, your customers, clients, and colleagues can become your friends. But there should be a line when it come to Facebook. Yes, give some insight into who you are on your Page, but keep the really personal stuff to your personal profile. If you become friends with a customer, client, or colleague, just send that person a friend request.

      Hope that helps!

      – Martin

      Reply
  7. […] Domo Arigato: No More Mr. Roboto […]

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  8. […] a smart strategy — we’ve covered the value of non-robot speak on Facebook […]

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  9. […] Automatic direct messages. Too many people send automatic direct messages to new followers. Don’t do this. You don’t want the first impression that you make on your customers to be from a robot. […]

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  10. […] be distinct and memorable, so customers differentiate you from others? (Hint: The more you show off your authentic, human side, in videos and photos, and social media updates, blog posts, and emails that are written in a […]

    Reply

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