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Are you showing your true colors? Injecting the human factor in b-to-b online presence

Are you showing your true colors? Injecting the human factor in b-to-b online presence

If you take a look at the b-to-b social media space today, you'll see a polarization of success.  There are a select group of business and staff pages with vibrant communities, full of engaged members that openly share their identity, background and opinions with one another. On the other hand, you'll find a sea of dead pages comprised of logos, faceless avatars and unanswered comments. The key to social media success is clear. Successful businesses and staff stay ahead of the curve by connecting with their audience through their personality. 

If you take a look at the b-to-b social media space today, you’ll see a polarization ofsuccess.  There are a select group of business and staff pages with vibrant communities, full of engaged members that openly share their identity, background and opinions with one another.  On the other hand, you’ll find a sea of dead pages comprised of logos, faceless avatars and unanswered comments.  The key to social media success is clear.  Successful businesses and staff stay ahead of the curve by connecting with their audience through their personality (See packaging diva).

If you’re hesitant to show your personality online, remember: It’s not really about you- it’s about your target audience….and if they’re human, they’re going to be interested in connecting with   a real person (see automated customer service).

Fortunately, social media affords us the opportunity to connect with real people in unprecedented volumes.  Don’t be shy- take the opportunity. Here are five very manageable steps to get you started:

1. Take it beyond text : The most basic way to humanize your presence online is with photos.  Start out by swapping that infamous twitter egg with a picture of yourself.  Then, remember to keep it fresh.  Have you attended an industry event recently or met with an industry leader?  Show what you’ve been up to lately by posting a photo.  After a while, your audience will begin to feel connected to you.

2. Engage: Social media (even within the b-to-b space) can be compared to a cocktail party.  Avoid being a wallflower by actively making new contacts. Increase your Twitter presence by proactively following others- you’ll likely get a “follow back”.  Once you’ve got an audience, keep their attention by talking about things they care about.  Re-tweet or link useful, industry- relevant articles to your audience.  An occasional post outside of business will add some personality too.

3. Don’t be afraid to share your opinion: If you’re sharing interesting content, be prepared to receive and respond to comments on your page.  Opinions and interaction drive successful businesses- don’t be afraid of them.  Honest dialogue will position you as a thought-leader and a resource to your audiences.

4. Organize or attend meet ups: After you’ve spent a bit of time online, you’ll come to ‘know’ the key industry players online.  Keep an eye out for meet-ups through tweets, blogs and sites like http://social-media.meetup.com.  If you don’t find an event covering a topic you are interested in, be a leader and create one.  (A post on ABI’s social media event is coming soon on Trendspeak.)

by Yulia Tribrat