December 24th, 2010

Make the Web Personal

Twitter is not an RSS feed. Facebook is not a list of promotions. Your Web site isn’t a board-driven portal for internal documents and buzz words.

Content isn’t simply the conduit with which you disseminate press releases. Yet, some of you continue to treat it that way.

Oh. No. I get it. You’re trying hard. Some of you are, at least. Some of you have taken great pains to manufacture an online strategy steeped in clickthrough rates and SEO and ROI and, you know, that’s great.

But what you haven’t done is create a reason to engage. You haven’t created a genuine personality.

By personality, I mean a common voice that works across every platform. One based in honesty and legitimate concern. You aim for the stats, but stuffing links and keywords doesn’t earn trust. It doesn’t make your site usable. It sure as hell doesn’t gain brand value or synergy, etc.

Content strategy gets pegged as a stat-based word puzzle. That’s part of it, to be sure. That’s not the WHOLE thing, though.

You aren’t talking to a robot. You aren’t talking to a site crawler, or an RSS feed. You aren’t even talking to an audience, whatever that means.

You’re talking to a real person. Every time.

Site crawlers, RSS feeds, analytics reports, and audiences don’t buy things. People do.

So when you start a Twitter page, do it with purpose. Provide real content to your users. Celebrate your voice, with aplomb, as if you were talking with someone over coffee, joyously relating the real benefits of your product/organization/whatever, and not as if you were serving dictation to a shopping news ad.

Ultimately, we need to remember a basic fact of communications and how it relates to relationships: we don’t connect to articles and stats and certifications, but to original thought and personality.

I thought we had been through this all already. But by the looks of some of you guys, it hasn’t quite set in yet.

Why not?


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