Real, Live Humans Will Always Win On Social Media

It’s usually a good idea to show the world you aren’t a robot.

Sure, some robots are cute and helpful. But others – like, say, Teddy Ruxpin – have a way of making you feel a little uncomfortable.



Point is, you’re better off as a living, breathing human than you are as a robot – and that means proving that you’re a person.

This is especially true on social media.

One of the things people hate most about customer service on the phone is when they can’t reach a real human – so why hide your humanity on social?

Here’s the problem, though: on social media, you can’t fall back on the usual methods of proving that you’re a human – things like crying at television commercials with cute dogs in them, for example, or eating food instead of batteries.


You have to be creative to show that you’re a real, live person – and here are a few ways you can start.

Remember to reply

This one sounds obvious, but it’s something that’s easy to ignore – especially when you’re kicking back and reaping the benefits of automated social media updates.

It’s easy to ignore something that happens automatically, like a gym membership that renews every month no matter how long it’s been since you went. On social, though, you have to be more diligent than that.

Set aside time every day for checking mentions and notifications, and for responding to them. A single person who reaches out to you via social and is ignored doesn’t necessarily care that you responded to a dozen other people that day – they care that you didn’t respond to them. (And even if they aren’t actively looking for a response, giving one can leave a huge impression.)

Don’t let scheduling tools stop you from remembering to post live – no matter how easy that may be. Automation doesn’t eliminate the need for live interaction – it’s a tool that makes it easier.

(Curious about how much difference effective outreach can make? Here’s how one business grew its Twitter audience by 20,000 users in six months.) 

Be conversational

Want to give people that warm-and-fuzzy feeling of talking to a real, live human being? Talk like one. Everyone knows disingenuous “professional speak” when they hear it – you know, the kind that sounds like someone working off a script? It’s impersonal, so when you get it in response, it feels like a bit of a cheat.


Social media is a place for actual social interaction, not pretend social interaction. Being impersonal, scripted, and robotic can frustrate your fans!

Does that mean you should go off-brand by overloading on folksy charm? Of course not. But you can always make it clear that there’s someone behind the Twitter handle who is interested in your followers at a human level.

This is also why automated replies can be damaging – and why automated DMs are the number one reason people get unfollowed on Twitter.

Just look at how two different businesses have handled social faux pas in the past. DiGiorno made an offensive joke on Twitter, and personally responded to everyone who called them out in a show of sincerity. Progressive, on the other hand, responded to criticism with automated replies that contributed to their reputation tanking.

How NOT to respond to people on social media.

How NOT to respond to people on social media.

Don’t work off a script, and don’t copy/paste or automate your responses. Be a human – it’s what people are looking for.

Show appreciation

Getting shares on social media is critical to both growing your following and boosting your web traffic – make sure you’re showing a lil’ love when it happens! When someone shouts you out on social, make sure you say thanks. It doesn’t have to be complicated – just drop a quick note showing your appreciation:

It’s not something your followers necessarily expect, but that’s part of what makes it so important. Instead of always waiting for people to reach out to you, you can reach out to them, and show them that an actual person noticed and loved what they did.

Side note – those last two tweets also demonstrate another way you can show your humanity on social: signing your replies. This is especially valuable when you have multiple people manning your social accounts!

Humanity is one of your best assets

It’s tempting to always want to be the perfect picture of professionalism – but on social, the quirks that make you human are some of your greatest assets.

It’s a medium designed for personal interaction, so don’t be afraid to get personal. Will every message you send be as flawless and sparkly as a diamond fresh out of the dishwasher? Absolutely not – and you just might be a lot better off for it.

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  • Great points. It is frustrating when you try to engage with someone on Twitter only to receive an automated DM message. Its good to actively engage with Twitter followers and to reply when someone mentions you. I find that regularly engaging with others on Twitter can help you with networking as well.