Business Is Personal

May 22, 2010
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Recently, I had the opportunity to be a character at the 140 conference in New York City.  It has been something I have wanted and needed to attend for sometime and I am honored that Collective Bias sponsored me.  Weeks later I am still finding myself thinking about some deep answers to questions I have been asking my self for years that were address at the conference.  One of those questions is “Why are we, as humans, so turned OFF by cold impersonal people but are supposed to be turned ON to and responsive to an ad or commercial?  An ad or commercial that is something so non personal, non touching, non human. These ads normally take what the business “wants” us to hear and force feeds us this information in between news articles or our favorite sitcom? It’s not that I am an expert or a social media guru but I am interested in learning more and continually learning how real time media is effecting every industry. I usually leave these sessions with the creative side of my head working overtime trying to process everything I have learned and apply it to businesses I know and have a relationship with.

What once was a virtual world has now collided with reality.  Life as we know it will never be the same.  What we say online effects real life and what we say and do offline is usually carried onto Facebook statuses, tweets, or maybe even followed up with pictures online.  Either way you look at it, virtual reality IS reality and has become real time media.

What is real time media? It’s personal.  It is not all business.  It’s about what’s on our mind or on our heart.  It is not traditional media.  It’s not about press releases and “getting the word out”. It is about telling a story. It is about connecting that message or story with humans.  It’s about relationship building.  Most of all it is taking a bit of personality into a business model and getting others to relate, respond and retell that very same message that you, as a business, want to be heard.  Relationships are built and a click of a mouse can connect person to person, business to business, and business to person.  In order for businesses to do this they need to get personal.

Businesses have been trained to keep their “game face” on but real time media is asking companies to take of their mask and show the faces behind the company.  Behind each Twitter account, Facebook profile, or website is a human.  A human with likes/dislikes, feelings, and most important a human with a heart.  When was the last time you had a heart to heart with your favorite client, or your favorite brand.

I can not express my personal opinion of how important enough the following is.  Social media personalities need to be contained and professional and professionals need to establish corporations and need to show their personality.  Why do they need to show it, because the consumer wants to see it.

Across the board, in every industry represented at the 140 conference they all spoke one message.  Industries varied from education to music producing and beyond.  They even threw in Ivonka Trump for good measure.  I wasn’t a fan of the moments that Ivonka was on the stage but she still had the same message.  A business needs to become relatable to connect.  So in the times of real media while professionalism is always needed to be upheld, personality is always needed to connect with the digital humans that are -or- potentially could become your clients.

Game faces are good for football games but when you are working online your apparel should occasionally be wearing your heart on your sleeve.  For businesses I am sure this could be hard when you were taught in business school to hide behind a suit and tie and a newspaper advertisement but right here, right now, in real time online we want to see YOU. Your passion, your heart, and most of all your love for the business YOU are in.

About the Guest Author

Elizabeth Norton is a wife to one, mom 2 two birth children, former foster mom to over 21 kids and on a break.  She is founder of and,  She works tirelessly on her local social media platform and is owner of  She currently is a spokes person for in Cape May County, NJ which she loves because she gets to brag constantly about the area she grew up in and loves.

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