#SMMW16 Mantra: ‘Be More Human’

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It was at Mark Schaefer’s closing keynote at Social Media Marketing World on Tuesday, April 19 in San Diego, where I decided that if this year’s conference had a tagline it would have been this: “Be. More. Human.”

If there is anything social media marketers (or any marketers for that matter) need to get behind, it’s that it’s past time for them to set aside their own agendas and focus on their audiences first.

Social media and connectivity are kind of an oxymoron. Social media has done a tremendous job at bringing us closer, but at the same time, it has pushed us away.

In a world where social media has done so much good, many people and brands have used it in a way that strips its human connection. It’s time to bring that back.

Schaefer’s quote, “Be. More. Human,” confirmed what most speakers touched on at Social Media Marketing World.

In this post, I want to highlight a few of those moments (in no particular order) and wrap up with a few tips from the experts themselves on how you can humanize your marketing initiatives:

1. Use Live Video

During the panel, “Live Video: Why the Future of Marketing is Going Live,” Kim Garst said brands should jump on the live video bandwagon as it helps build a know, like, trust factor.

People want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger. Kim believes live video helps accomplish that.

2. Practice Authenticity

Shaan Puri, co-founder of Blab, couldn’t have said it any better. Your target audience wants to see the organic, raw form of your brand, not the manicured version.

3. Be Unique

In his session, “How to Get People to Consume Your Content In a Noisy World,” Bryan Kramer explained that to cut through the clutter and the noise, you have to embrace the stories that truly make you unique. 

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4. Give Your Audience Access

Brian Fanzo says that video is a great way to show authenticity and invite your audience behind the scenes. If you are doing good things, live video allows you to amplify that. People want access. They want to feel special. Take them there.

5. Partner With Influencers

Jay Baer highlighted the importance of leveraging influencers to humanize your brand. We’re in a place now where people (aka influencers), are considered media. Leverage influencers to add a voice to your brand. People trust people, leverage that.

6. Grab Attention

Gary Vaynerchuk said, “Before you tell me about your product, you need to get my attention.” Before anything else, connect with your audience and tell them your story.

Tips to humanize your brand:

  • Live video. Social media platforms such as Facebook Live, Periscope and Blab allow people to connect on a closer level. People want behind-the-scenes access.
  • Customer service. Use social media as a customer service platform. Assist in real time and add personality.
  • Leverage influencers. Jay Baer touched on the importance of listening to your audience and finding your influencers. People trust people more than brands. Influencers will allow you to have that intimate connection.
  • “In order to connect, give.” Bryan Kramer says in order to connect, you need to give first. “The reason people share is because they want to connect with other people.”
  • Say that you don’t know. “Saying ‘I don’t know’ creates validity and authenticity for your community.” Brian Fanzo says your audience will trust you more if you are honest upfront.
  • Don’t script your message. Polished, manicured and perfect is out. Invite people in, give them access, support their efforts and embrace the stories that truly make your brand unique.

As part of our good faith effort to heed the lessons from these industry thought leaders, here is a picture of Stacey Miller and myself with Mark Schaefer before his closing keynote:

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Mark wrapped up Social Media Marketing World perfectly. I will end this post the same way he ended a fantastic week in San Diego:  

“We need to focus more on trust and less on traffic. In this competitive world, trust trumps everything. Be more human.”

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Tags : social media

About Michelle Dziuban

Michelle Dziuban is the Social Media Manager for Cision, where she has worked since 2012. With a background in marketing and advertising, she loves keeping tabs on emerging industry trends. Most recently, she appeared on one of the most popular marketing podcasts in the world, Jay Baer’s Social Pros Podcast (How B2B’s Can Rock Facebook Live Video) and authored a byline on CMO.Com (What CMO’s Need to Know About Live-Streaming). In her free time, Michelle enjoys yoga, running and being outdoors. Find her on Twitter @dziubs.

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