Are the days of “Dear Madam,” and “Sincerely” over? We already know that communicating with a human voice on social media channels leads to a higher retention rate, according to a University of Missouri study. But will this trend trickle down to other facets of corporate communication?
Now I wouldn’t stretch as far to say we will begin seeing LOLs and FMLs in press releases, but we may see more companies including the human element in other areas of their business. Without question, a PR professional’s job is becoming more difficult, as businesses try to incorporate the human element in communication while still maintaining professionalism. This is a difficult tightrope to walk for many PR pros because there are consequences for being “too human.”
However, there may be costs for not being informal and human enough. The opportunity costs of not speaking with a human voice may be worth the risks alone for businesses, according the same UM study, “We have evidence that perceived conversational human voice may promote trust, satisfaction, and commitment in relationships between an organization and the public, which in turn results in favorable behavioral intentions toward an organization.”
Humanizing on Social
Now whether this human trend on Twitter will be ingrained in corporate communications will remain to be seen. It is an end-user driven communications strategy. People want to interact with other people. We like thinking of companies as living, breathing entities, now with emotions and opinions.
One way that PR professionals can humanize their brand is include names, pictures, and insights in to the people and culture that drive a business. Focus your efforts to showcase and interact with the people behind your business.
Quick tips for humanizing on social media:
- Don’t set up an automated blog feed. Promote your content on Twitter and Facebook with your own words!
- Don’t share as many links. Studies show that over 60% of messages on Twitter are links to content, try for 40%.
- Share pictures. People don’t like seeing pictures from Getty Images, we are snoops by heart. Give them a cell phone picture of your office, or other employees.
- Speak with different people. Try and talk with and respond to people in your community.
So is chivalry dead? There still is a place in many businesses for formal communication; but as executives and PR professionals warm up to the fact that people don’t like hearing companies talk, we may see a rise in LOLs and FMLs.
A social entrepreneur and writer on all things fresh, Matt Krautstrunk focuses on topics ranging from social media marketing to digital copiersfor Resource Nation; a service that provides expert advice on everything from SEO to document software purchasing decisions.