Written by Karen D. Swim
I pierced the veil of secrecy and shame daring to reveal a heart filled with pain
Silencing voices in my head, moving past fear and dread
Like a swiftly moving current support rolled in, as I was enveloped in a cocoon of love by my friends.
Yes Virginia, there is a person behind the avatar. A beating heart, a living being that will respond when you reveal that you too are human. On Tuesday, I was joyfully reminded that technology is not a barrier to connection but a conduit that allows us to create friendships and communities in spite of the miles.
With the potential we possess to truly develop relationships and build communities, I wonder why there persists a tendency to do the opposite. We have a bevy of social media tools that invite conversation and sharing yet many dehumanize the process with a focus on metrics and statistics. In fact, just today Steve Woodruff thoughtfully remarked in a tweet:
“How I built a Twitter network of ____ in ___ days.” Sheesh. How about, how to build relationships and add value over the long-term??
To that I say, Amen! I read articles, posts and tweets on how to build subscriber numbers, how to drive traffic to your website and how to build an empire on a social media network, but are we missing the true value of developing relationships with real people?
Tuesday reinforced my own personal belief that doing business on the internet does not have to be impersonal. Your friendship and support not only made the difference in a tough week but validated my stand that authenticity and transparency are more than trendy buzzwords of the day.
When you focus on humanity, on connecting honestly and openly it is not detrimental to your professional brand or business but an opportunity to truly build long term value and have deeper engagements with people.
As a human being, I am thankful that no matter where I am I can reach out to a community courtesy of the interwebs. As a marketer, I am excited at forming and teaching others to go beyond one-way marketing messages and develop relationships with the people who are at the other end of that connection.
It is time to shed the decades old corporate assertion that doing business is “swimming with sharks.” We do business with people, not numbers to be manipulated into clicking our junk and buying our stuff. Instead of screaming to be heard, quietly listen and allow those human beings to tell you what they want and need. You may be pleasantly surprised at just how pleasant business becomes when you make it personal.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to share in the comments, discussion is gratefully welcomed here! 🙂
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