Brands Should Act Like Humans On Social Media

by Stratton Craig

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Engaging with consumers on social media may be important but it is no longer enough. Instead, in order to make the most of social media for their business, brands should enchant consumers, according to Dave Coplin, UK director of search at Microsoft.
Coplin, who spoke at the annual Great British Social Media festival, organised by the IAB, claims that “social” is an emotional concept and as such cannot be measured, just as it is impossible to measure love. That is why he believes that brands should not be so strict about measuring their performance on social sites.
Because “social” and “love” are about emotions, there is nothing wrong with being emotional every now and again, while interacting with consumers. On the contrary, leaving the corporate talk for a while and showing that brands consist of people can be good for the business, Coplin claims.
A brilliant example of human emotion, or “enchantment”, is demonstrated in Marketing Week. When recently O2 suffered a 24-hour network outage, thousands of consumers raged on Twitter as they were unable to use their phones. O2 did not hide or provide automatic responses to angry posts, but kept its cool and stayed there to deliver helpful answers and directions to consumers.
Even when obscene comments started appearing on O2´s page, the brand took it bravely and answered in good humour, instead of what other companies may have done – asking the customers to behave or ignoring the comments. By answering as a human, O2 achieved a much better effect – the exchange between the brand and the author of an obscene post was rapidly retweeted 260 times, favourited more than 100 times and read by thousands of others.

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