13 Ways to Add Human Understanding to the Internet

Isra Garcia
Isra Garcia Digital transformation advisor and new media analyst, IG

Posted on January 7th 2014

13 Ways to Add Human Understanding to the Internet

If the Internet is made up of people, I don’t understand why brands use the Internet to communicate and market their products in a way that keeps them at a distance from human relations. If human relations are the essence of the social media, I don’t understand why no one is connecting and humanising instead of just sending out the same message 100 times, aiming to have an impact or simply wanting us to click on an ad in Facebook, LinkedIn or during a YouTube video.

add understanding to the internet

How to add the human touch and understanding to the Internet

Thinking about this, I hope some of the things included here may help us to understand the term “humanise” in regard to the Internet and social media.

1. Establish the foundations for listening: spend your time processing everything that’s being said about you or your organisation and do something with this. For instance, you can offer an answer to your audience. You may not know this but they’re the new “killer App”.

2. Respond to LinkedIn invites in a personal way, reviewing the other person’s profile, taking care in how to word your message to connect with the other party. Offer individual personalised answers and don’t use templates. It works for me. The same goes for emails.

3. Start or finish any comment, message, tweet, recommendation, review or shared content by naming the person you’re addressing.

4. Always answer any comment made and try to do what you’d like people to do with you: leave a comment, RT, “like”, “recommend”, “vote” or mention.

5. Speak positively, deal with situations with optimism, even when faced with harsh criticism or comments. Don’t lose your nerve and let humour reign. Researchers from Georgia Tech found that staying positive, useful and resonating is a tactic that leads to the trust and credibility needed for people to purchase at our store.

6. Look for ways to be innovative, staying true to yourself. For instance, use a word or catchphrase that is close to you, even one you make up. For instance, “rock on”. It may seem daft but try it out and see.

7. Look for conversations that are close to your interests. For instance, the contact made between a designer and a programmer to create a new blog, or contacts made between food lovers and the cooking blog you’ve discovered. So, make that introduction, connect!

8. Take an interest on subjects that may also be of interest to your audience and offer them information. For instance, if you’re a hotel, recommend tour routes. If you’re a dinner restaurant, talk about places where you can go for a drink later or recommend clubs. If you’re a club, recommend a good after-party.

9. Filter information that may be useful to your community and transform it into actionable points you can work with. For instance, if you provide a guide on how to install plug-ins in Wordpress, explain exactly what plug-ins you need to install and summarise the steps you need to take in a direct way. Otherwise, you’re not really contributing anything new.

10. Perhaps through your experience and knowledge, even through your failures, you may extract conclusions, reflections or moments –transferred into content- that may connect with your audience and which betters them. This would be equipping them. Try talking about when you lost your nerve with a client, when you launched a campaign with the wrong target or when you paid your Facebook “Ads” with the wrong credit card.

11. Look for conversations regarding your brand on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ (hint: look for hashtags and keywords). When you find them, engage in them, contribute your point of view, share, recommend, provide information or clarify doubts.

12. Every time you want to read something interesting, spend 5 minutes looking for it among the content posted by your audience / followers / fans. You’re sure to find something worthwhile, something you can share and recommend. We’ll be grateful!

13. Ask your community what they want from you, don’t be afraid! Then, work towards making it possible if you can’t offer it right away. For instance, if people complained that there weren’t enough women in your last event, work to fix this in time for the next event.

Obvious?

I honestly think I’m not really discovering uncharted territory here. Neither is it a cure for all. Similarly, discovering humanity on the Internet or in social media is a greatly complex task. A paradox perhaps? What do you think?

Photo credit: al shep.

Isra Garcia

Isra Garcia

Digital transformation advisor and new media analyst, IG

Marketer, digital transformation and new media advisor, speaker, blogger, educator and an agent of change.

Social Media Today's Best thinker member. Isra is the creator and author of the paradigm that has revolutionised the social media: Human Media and also founder of Stand OUT Program, Engage Worldwide and Principal at IG.

His blog on Social Media, Marketing, disruption, lifestyle, new perspectives, productivity and change is visited by more than 110,000 people every month. Only 31, Isra has taken part as a TEDx speaker on three occasions and has participated in more than 290 industry events as speaker. At 27, he started his own agency, and has worked as consultant and analyst on new forms of online communication and marketing for other agencies and brands such as EMI Music (Spain – Portugal), BlackBerry (UK – Ireland), MTV (UK), Pioneer (UK) and blur Group (UK – USA), Amnesia Ibiza (Spain) and Music On (Spain – Italy). He has been the promoter of MONK (UK – Italy – Sao Paulo), the first Human Media Marketing agency, where he worked as Human Media Evangelist and Advisor, and is now involved as head of digital media at Bridges for Music (South Africa – India – Brazil), an international NGO that fosters and encourages change and talent. Isra has also been in charge of Marco Carola’s personal brand as one of the most influential artists in the electronic music scene worldwide. He actually advises Ushuaia Beach Hotel, named as number one most technological-adavanced hotel in the world.

His fast-moving career has always been related to Web 2.0.  Isra´s early work as a consultant, in charge of teams and Social Media strategies for Social Media & Community. These are just a few of the highlights of his career. Undoubtedly, Isra adds a visionary and human-technological way to understand this new environment that the Internet has provoked.

Leaving aside companies, roles and projects, Isra has always been characterized by a thrilling passion for the human side of communication.

Isra writes for international publications such as Social Media Today, SmartBrief and contributed with FastCompany and is a guest lecturer at EOI, Fundesem Business School, Nottingham Business School, University of Leeds and University of Manchester. He is co-founder and organiser of Adictos Social Media and "Internet Changes Everything."

Isra is a 31-year-old visionary and pioneer who has revolutionized the New Media environment with his concept of Human Media based on human business interactions through the Social Web . Isra pioneered how the the new use of online media leverages the Social Web through human relationships, Human Business Interactions, connectivity, feelings, resonance and of course people. Specialized studies in Spain, UK and USA represent the base for his international career. Isra was recently on TEDx where he introduced his vision about Human Media and its impact on brands, businesses, people and the Web.

In only two and-a-half years, Isra has completed two Ironman races and, since last september, he is one of the only 89 athletes in the world that has completed the three-day ultra endurance event, "Ultraman" (10k swim + 420k bike + 84,3k run). He always pushes the intellectual and physical work far beyond his limits.

You can find Isra at TEDx events, presenting his perspective on Human Media, the future of social media, change, revolution, Ultraman and disruption. Also, in his Spanish blog http://isragarcia.es and international site http://isragarcia.com.

“Writing about oneself is infinitely more difficult than writing about anyone else. You’ll find that the story you thought you were telling people isn’t the story that people perceived.” Isra García.

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Comments

Sara Parks
Posted on January 7th 2014 at 4:38PM

These tips are really specific. I like that you really got down to concrete suggestions and that you reminded me that it will take time but it is better than not doing it at all. Great post!

Isra Garcia
Posted on January 8th 2014 at 12:53PM

Thanks Sara. Sometimes we get so envolved on this social hype that we forget how to create value to our readers. It's not about we don't know how to do it, but getting deep and work on the actionable path. 

Takes time, but it pays off. 

Sara Parks
Posted on January 8th 2014 at 3:30PM

I think this comparison is not new, but i like to think of social media like a party. Lots of mingling and if you find someone who you like and can talk with, invite them to your party and chat with them. It's not a megaphone shouting contest, but a social mixer to make connections.

Ajay Prasad
Posted on January 7th 2014 at 5:32PM

Very nicely written. Personalized attention to your audience is really helpful to let your audience understand you better.

Isra Garcia
Posted on January 8th 2014 at 12:50PM

If we intent to connect, we should connect first, not waiting for someone to create the connexion.

Jay North
Posted on January 7th 2014 at 5:50PM

Well this is an impressive article which makes us think that why are we after just getting our links clicked. When our work is result oriented , we do the same. Surely we need to change the way we do it and give it a human touch.The points mentioned are remarkable. 

Isra Garcia
Posted on January 8th 2014 at 12:47PM

Thanks for your comment Jay. Exactly, we should never forget that behind all that there is a person who’s creating the necessary moves having the intention to connect, create relationships, communicate or make something happen.

Lynn Black
Posted on January 7th 2014 at 7:25PM

Great article! As someone who works with Social Media every day, this is a great reminder to always remember that there is a person on the other end of the computer or Iphone.

Isra Garcia
Posted on January 8th 2014 at 12:45PM

Thanks Lynn. Agree, the key is staying human, it's all about resonance and connectivenes. The Internet is people.