Keeping Digital Personal
Digital communication: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Web 2.0 (and very soon 3.0.) now seems to pass for personal communication—it is an evolution from in-person meetings, telephone conversations and written correspondence. Tweets, text & instant messages, and recommendations on LinkedIn have become the norm. If utilized correctly, you can communicate in such a way that the digital touch can remain a personal touch.
As the saying goes, we never get a second chance to make a first impression. The first time you meet someone in-person not only sets the tone for future interactions, but determines the depth and duration of any subsequent relationship with that person. This is also true of the first impression created via digital communication. When you reach out digitally, it is critical that you target the communication to what you know about the recipient. In developing a personal relationship, you should value inquiry over expediency and long-term vision over short-term gain.
Once a relationship is established, the benefit to your business grows, but the challenge in keeping it personal increases. No longer does "personalization" simply require that you spell someone's name correctly and making sure your boilerplate letter doesn't include information relating to the client you wrote prior. Communicating digitally involves the ability to reply immediately and likewise being able to generate immediate and flexible responses.
But how? There are several tools available to you to help ensure that any digital communication with you–whether on your own behalf or on behalf of those you represent–remains a personalized experience.
Know your audience. Listen, learn and adjust your behavior each and every time you learn something new about who you are corresponding with.
Solicit response. Success is not guaranteed by engaging in mass communication that gets your message out there; request feedback so that you build the perception that you are interested in having a one-on-one conversation.
Capture customer information. Through direct or email response, social media interactions can provide valuable information about your customer.
The goal is to build a digital relationship that positions you as your client's choice to meet his or her need(s). As disconnected as digital communication can at times feel it is possible to develop a personal relationship that establishes an emotional and psychological comfort level certain to build loyalty and brand recognition.