Whenever I teach social media classes or work with clients, I spend some time explaining that the online and offline worlds are the same.
In both cases, the audiences who support a business comprise of human beings with feelings and expectations. Not seeing their faces is no excuse to treat them differently.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies are more focused on their bottom line than on building relationships. And that explains why they cannot generate sales.
Just as I was about to write an article on the topic, I discovered Mark Schaefer’s excellent post.
Social media is an extraordinary, historically important opportunity to create real relationships that lead to business opportunities. But we have to treat people like people or it probably won’t work. Your online presence needs to be consistent with offline human relations skills. People are people. Treat them with respect wherever you are.