Just over a week a ago, I attended at social media workshop hosted by Lori Ballen. Covered a great deal of content that I deeply care about, thus there's tons to write about. There's one piece that really struck me, though. Her ability to connect.
One thing that happens regularly for her: people who she's never met treating her like she's their best friend. These are people who have only connected with her via social media. For all the criticism about social media destroying society, clearly these tools still enables us to bond.
Utilized well, people can connect solidly to brands, ideas, individuals. This gives communicators powerful ways to affect our audience. And elicit cynicism. If we're not careful, these tools will end up viewed simply as deceptive marketing tools, building a false sense of connection and, thus, exploitive.
We need to be vigilant, ensuring we strive for genuine connection. Respectful, solution driven, thoughtful, and focused on our customer more than on driving cash-flow. Once your audience becomes jaded, rebuilding that trust is painfully slow and, perhaps, impossible.