Strategic Principles for a More Human Online Communication and Marketing

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

Posted on May 7th 2014

Strategic Principles for a More Human Online Communication and Marketing

Strategic principles for a more human online communication and marketing

The more connected we seem to be living, the more we seem to be moving away from what really matters online: the people. What a paradox! We’ve witnessed the appearance of great revolutions: Facebook, Twitter, Kickstarter or Wordpress; platforms which have dismantled the status quo we lived in. However, we’ve also witnessed the disappearance of many other platforms that didn’t quite manage to find their space in the online world (or generate a stable business model): Foursquare, Google Buzz, Ping, etc. 

"The Internet of Things" has give way to "The Internet of People" or, in other words, Human Media. A more human, resonating and efficient way of understanding the social web.

How to do it

Below are the strategic principles for a more human online communication and marketing. No person or organisation should forget them if they want to earn their space in this digital economy (or, in the words of Seth Godin, connected economy):

- Find the human meaning. If the actions you carry out don’t resonate with the people you’re targeting, there’s no meaning to what you’re doing. The same goes for you: if what you’re doing on the social web isn’t making you a better professional or person, then it’s not Human Media.

- Human ROI. Work towards understanding the end benefit / objective of your community and employees. Take an interest in their goals. Ask, analyse and find ways to achieve such ROI.

- Strengthen your feedback. Listen carefully to what your community has to say: with every brand interaction, they’re trying to say something that can usually be quite useful. First of all, learn to listen to them on the different platforms where such interactions take place. Then, correctly decode this message and verify it with your audience. Then, transfer your “insight” to the brand so you can prepare your response and a solution. Finally, work towards implementing this in your brand, product or community.

- A connection is earned through emotion. Tell your real story, a truthful, human story that exposes your weaknesses and shows your vulnerability. Show who your team and network of collaborators and suppliers are. Share the joy and also the sadness. Motivate and inspire your audience rather than talk about your product or service. Make every interaction personal. It’s hard work but it pays off!

- A connection is made through commitment: when you do as you say time and time again, without mistake for a long period of time; every time you publicly apologise for any failures in your service, attention or work; every time you announce anything you had promised you would do; when what you say is in line with your results.

- Core skills for a human-digital environment: community leadership, not management; respecting other people’s opinions rather than twisting their reactions; a curiosity for interaction, not a passiveness towards any answer; productivity and optimisation in a connected environment, not the dumbing-down of social media; ignoring anonymous criticism; rejecting work en masse, focusing on the tribe instead; excelling and choosing yourself over anybody else.

- The key to front-wheel driving: initiative, choice and attitude in the face of knowledge and information.

- Resonance over engagement: in a saturated environment where there are increasing connection and emotional bonding possibilities every day, what matters is to get your audience in line with regard to specific and increasingly personal causes. Engagement is the result of the interest you invest in your community. Resonance is the positive response to such result.

- The new economy hovers over two worlds: Internet and the ‘real-life’ world. The key is to find the intersection and establish the point of equilibrium. Using the phone to talk to one of your blog readers is very powerful, as is meeting your Twitter connections or organising business meetings with people whom you’ve created some value with through LinkedIn.

- Content: first of all, create; then, distribute, re-distribute and exchange. A person’s essence isn’t in what they share but, rather, on what they create. This is how we can understand the way they perceive and understand the world, their skills and virtues, their flaws and vulnerability and, through all of this, what they can contribute to the market and the world. When you create personal content, you create something that’s unique and you share your own divinity with others: making sure you think about your target (through a blog, video-blog, podcast, etc.), your content is specialised (whatever your area of expertise and passion) and prolonged in time (two or three posts per week) could generate greater impact than only sharing content that you reach by other means. 

- Sharing to create change. In regard to the point above, I’m not saying we don’t have to share: as Chris Brogan says, tweet one thing about yourself for every 20 tweets about others; or as Guy Kawasaki says, talk about others 95% of the time, with the remaining 5% in regard to the things you do. Finding a common, intermediate ground, I’d say that real connection occurs when you create 30% of the content you share, 20% of your content is talking about other people or local businesses who’re doing a great job and the remaining 30% is spent informing about great things that can create positive change in your community. 

Internet changed the economy and social media changed the meaning of communication. However, it’s the people who have changed the Internet and how we all use the social web to remain more human.

Photo credit: Dave Gray.

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 and international site

“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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