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The web forces companies to become more human

June 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm

The new age of technology and social media is forcing more and more companies to adopt a more human side for their business. You can see this in the language they adopt on their websites, the videos for their products and the way they interact on their social media pages.

Company humanizing beginnings

The behavior started to appear in 2008 with the proliferation of Facebook and Twitter for the masses, and today it is almost unthinkable to state on your website “conducting professional [ insert services] for a wide variety of companies and individuals” in your catchphrase and still be able to run a successful business online. Even harder if you don’t have a Facebook page.

The more organic way of interaction on the Internet has forced companies to show a human side to their business. This is an approach that goes deeper than Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns where they brag about saving children in Africa. Due to the closer interaction individuals have with brands, mixed together in a single ecosistem, top level management is now more prone to replying to kids letters and CEO’s talk about their passions in a Youtube video. Remember the Bill Gates retirement video?

As the Internet will sink deeper into this social connection, the human side of companies will become more and more evident. To cope with the change people are experiencing while browsing online, companies are forced to adapt.

Are you planning on starting a company?

If you’re a start-up founder or you plan on launching a new products online or otherwise, you need to take into consideration all this when building your business plan. The cold impartial approach is not likely to provoke the impact you require.

A warm and personal approach on your website or product will be more likely to provoke emotion. In the torrent of information and competing products available today, you will need to provoke and emotion if you’re going to attract attention.

This is, of course, a two way street. This means you’re opening up to the customers and you’re making yourself ‘available’. This means you cannot go back to the desk and treat people like numbers. They expect more.

In the short term, this is a triumph for the consumer. For so many years they were forced to live within the boundaries that companies offered: It was either this or that. Would you like paper or plastic? But suddenly it all changed. The user became important. He actually became more human online, so companies had to adapt by becoming more human themselves.

The future of companies

Once social media will become the internet, and no doubtfully it will, more and more companies will start being identified with persons rather than brands or little icons in the avatar. As Facebook is now associated with Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page with Google, eventually every company will need to choose a spokesperson which will behave and act as the brand of the company.

Now that’s a great ‘lead by example’ change I can’t wait to see.

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