Anthropomorphism

3 June 2011 by in #WhyGuy, 1 Comment

Physiognomy

I’ve written about constructing the perfect Twitter bio before but I saw one this morning that really got my Why Guy senses tingling.  My wife and I recently purchased a new home, and in the search for a few last details we reached out to the internet to research and comparison shop.  That’s how I found myself at HomeDepot.com.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I see a Twitter or Facebook button on a website I usually click the link and LIKE or Follow.  I don’t follow many corporate brands.  Heck, I just started following Home Depot yesterday, but it was only because they followed me first.  

Let me share with you what I discovered:

On the Home Depot Twitter account, the key is to humanize the process.  Notice how they tell you who you’re going to be talking to.  I don’t personally know Ryan or Sarah, and that may not even be their real names, but notice how it makes you feel knowing there’s a human on the other end – someone you can relate to. They even sign individual tweets so you know which one you’re talking to.  

They even list an email address, which appears to be the type of email assigned to a person and not a department (i.e. info@homedepot.com, social@homedepot.com or service@homedepot.com).  I feel like I’m being heard.  Way to go Home Depot Social Media Team!

As Vicki Flaugher, @smartwoman, recently noted in her blog, “What an Oncology Doctor Taught Me About Social Media,” actively listening is one of the most important strategies for a company.  Even the appearance of listening is better than not listening at all.  But nothing is more important than actually listening and hearing what people have to say.

Back to Home Depot and Lowes: Many would say these two megabrands are virtually the same company. Remove the brand names, paint the trim gray, and my guess is that most people wouldn’t know the difference.  Take a look at the different profiles on Twitter, and you will notice how even the color of the link to their respective websites match the brands identity.  However, it doesn’t require a keen eye to see a big difference in their respective Twitter bios.

Now, let’s take a look at the Lowes Twitter profile:

Note how impersonal the bio is.  A little direction as to what they are looking for, but frankly, people don’t like to be told how to communicate with a business  when they are angry about poor service or a defective product.  I love the subtle message in the bio that leads directly to the impersonal email account.  It’s almost as though by asking, Lowes is saying, “Let us know in an email, but don’t talk to us on Twitter.”

Initially, I had no bias towards either brand.  I have one of each very close to my new home, and I’ve been in both an equal number of times.  I’m just making a general observation of a few details on their corporate Twitter accounts.  However, since I started my shopping, Home Depot has made an attempt to reach out and build a relationship with me on Twitter.  Imagine what you would do in a similar situation?

I hope this helps you think a little clearer about your intentions when communicating your personal (or corporate) brand no matter what the media.

What are your thoughts?  Share them with me here.

One Response to “Anthropomorphism”

  1. Vicki Flaugher 4 June 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Joey,
    Thank you for highlighting my blog post. I appreciate it. And kudos on a well-written post here – I love the way you can so succinctly highlight a best practice for handling a necessary social media to-do’s – everyone needs to write a bio and this post definitely gives sound advice about the best way to handle a corporate account. I will go and incorporate it into my own and client’s work first thing on Monday morning. Thanks for sharing the tip!

    Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher


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