When the Cluetrain Manifesto exhorted corporations to begin communicating as people – to people, many marketers scratched their heads. Ten years on, many businesses continue to struggle with the language that they use to communicate with people – with “consumers”, “suppliers” and “partners”.

So it is hardly surprising that social media presents a challenge for many marketers – for unlike almost any other form of business communication, authenticity and believability in social media REQUIRES thinking, speaking and communicating in ways that are fundamentally “human”. But what does this mean? How can we break it down?

Christina (CK) Kerley has a great post on exactly this. Hi, I’m Here to Help You Be More Human outlines some of the key transitions that traditional marketers need to consider as they begin to experiment and grow with social media:

  • Ivory towers keep marketers locked safely away
  • Losing control is chaotic
  • Moving from ‘The’ to ‘Me’ is tough stuff (at first)
  • People don’t speak in buzzwords, but marketers sure do
  • Marketers are used to campaigns that start and end. Not conversations that keep going… and going
  • The path to Web 2.0 cuts straight through the department labeled “Legal!”

Take a good read through CK’s post and then think about the challenges that your brands face. Think about how YOU can make a difference to the way your products and services are perceived in the marketplace. And then identify two or three areas where you can make an immediate impact. Go on. You know you want to!