It’s striking how dramatically social media are changing the types of company communications that are really effective. Informality is the big driving factor, enabling enlightened businesses to let their corporate hair down somewhat to good effect.

This article from The Drum outlines interesting examples of tweets from big companies that show personality and humour in addressing customer complaints – some of which were fairly abusive to begin with.

Most of these responses come across well and demonstrate an engaging human touch, even though they’re from corporate accounts rather than named individuals.  (Although I’m not so sure East Coast Trains’ sarcasm does it any favours). Of course these firms were clearly also diligently monitoring the complaints in the first place, which is more than can be said for many companies.

Many more organisations would do well to recognise the power of showing a glimpse of personality in other aspects of their communication too, not just their online activity.

The maxim that people would rather deal with people than faceless corporations remains more relevant than ever despite – or probably, because of – increasing levels of automation in every aspect of our lives. The more we’re faced with dehumanised online, voice and text based systems to get things done, the more dealing with a real person stands out as a positive difference.

The trick of course is to hit the right note: to project an appealing personality that’s in keeping with your organisation’s brand and won’t compromise its reputation. In this fast-paced world, slips ups are easy.

As many people and organisations have found to their cost, letting your hair down too much can be disastrous.


Have you got any examples of a demonstration of personality that was truly engaging – or horribly inappropriate?

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