conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Bah: Who needs “personality”?

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Give me your risk-averse, your bland spinners of boredom.16872153-male-instructor-showing-cpr-on-training-doll

Two days ago I talked with a marketer trying to sort exactly what space his brand occupies in social media. His brand generally takes a clear position against the competition and owns 15 to 20 percent of the market. Their messaging is mostly working and they see only growth ahead.

But that growth needs a kick. Getting their brand noticed in social media requires more than mere facts. For instance, when it comes to tweets—what tone to take?

They’ve studied their demographic relentlessly. They know, for instance, that edgy won’t cut it with their particular audience. That’s a shame, because “edgy” tweets attract a lot of attention. My friend pointed to @DiGiornoPizza and the (often hilarious) tweets that set them apart. Their tweets fit their audience.

But my friend was not trying to meet the needs or get the attention of that edgy demographic. Plus, my friend’s brand was lodged within a behemoth of company that has traditionally favored corporate, risk-averse language over “fun” and “personable.”

What to do?

This is a question many companies will face as social technologies advance further and further into the selling cycles. Social media will always be about more than facts. People come back to particular tweeters or blog posts or updates because of the personality represented and the personalities’ take on whatever. We come back again and again because we want to hear what Letterman (or Colbert) or Jimmy Fallon will say about this or that. There is an expectation. And there is an emotional connection. And it never hurts to be fun.

I predict even business-to-business will succumb to personality and human speak.

How can a risk-averse corporation that deals in corporate-speak begin to talk human and engage in conversation with other humans? This is a complicated question that calls for creativity beyond the numbering of facts and features. It calls for a viewpoint or perspective. And those companies willing to move their tone off bland and toward standing for something that matters to their audience will be the early winners.

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Image credit: TaylorTay via morguefile.com

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Written by kirkistan

April 11, 2014 at 9:37 am

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