Humans have been telling each other stories since the dawn of time. The incredible advancements in communications technology have helped us make our stories more impactful. While the tools will keep changing, the key to effectively use them will always be focusing on the timeless need for genuine human-to-human connection.
Society has settled into the digital routine. People are comfortable relying on computers and conversations through screens. Now, many are turning their attention to the next wave of innovation: technology with a heart. People don’t want the digital reality to take away from our relationships – they want it to enhance them. The traditional is made new yet again.
This trend has major implications for business. Those who adopt these emerging tools can connect with their prospects and customers like never before. Thought leader David Amerland says that cultivating trust is crucial for brands. “There’s an interesting paradox of the importance of human qualities in a domain that is increasingly controlled by machines. When the traditional barriers to connectivity that were posed by the technical challenge of overcoming lack of proximity, access to content, an interactive digital presence and a high-quality connection, are removed, what truly remains is the perception of whether we can trust who we are dealing with or not.”
Here are 4 awesome tools driving this paradigm shift and enabling more genuine relationships. Think about how you could apply them to your business.
1. Live Streaming Changes the Conversation
You’ve probably noticed the recent surge in Live Streaming on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The trend is quickly catching fire. Our news feeds are no longer just static images, there are live video feeds of events, Q&As and simply friends hanging out! Comments come up in real-time and Like icons fly across the screen. This provides an amazing, intimate view into another person or brand’s world – with a much more real and empathetic quality.
We all know life usually isn’t buttoned up all nice and tidy – Live Streaming taps into this truth. You feel a tone of honesty, which is more relatable and draws you in. Watching a live view inherently brings you closer to their experience and interacting in real-time creates a context of action.
It will be interesting to see how brands use this new medium to build better relationships with their customers. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with scripting a live stream somewhat, as it will still likely be an authentic look at the brand’s people. Streaming events can reach a much wider audience than just those who pay for a ticket. Interactivity is the key to success – that’s the arrow of progress here. Brands will want to interact with fans as they comment. Genuine, live conversations demonstrate transparency and build trust.
Image credit: The Verge
2. The Power of Meeting In Person
Some of these new wave technologies are simply reinventing old ways of communication. Now that we spend so much of our time online, there is new potential for meeting in person – remember how we used to do that?
Bottleshake, a new app from San Francisco, is leading the charge. It connects users who are looking to meet about the same topic, be it business networking or just fun. Searching is keyword-driven, so if I’m looking for a co-founder in a certain tech space, I can find just the right person who’s looking for me! Once we’ve chosen to message each other, the “shake” is initiated and we can schedule a meetup for coffee. In-person meetings will always be a great way to connect, influence and close deals.
This app is the new way of meeting people and building relationships. “People want that connectivity that’s real” comments Mary, a Bottleshake app user. Bottleshake is among this new trend of technologies focused on the human element; creating a new kind of enhanced, genuine connection. It’s still always about the people. Technology just unlocks it.
Image credit: Bottleshake
3. Social Storytelling
Storytelling has been core to the human experience since the beginning. Now social media is exploring this timeless truth in new ways. Snapchat has seen great success with its Stories, where users can present a montage of short video clips, giving friends an entertaining view into a day in their life. Instagram noticed and launched its own Stories feature last summer. It caught on quick – after just a few months, 100 million users were creating Stories. (50 million use the same feature on Snapchat.) Meanwhile,
Facebook is testing “Messenger Day,” a social storytelling tool within their Messenger and “Moments” is now available in the Twittersphere.
These story formats are changing the context of digital communication. Again, we want to see honest, full views of others, not just a perfect, staged glimpse. 360-degree photos and videos are gaining popularity on Facebook. A company can post a 360-degree picture of their office to promote their culture and attract talent. As viewers look around, they feel immersed in your world. New formats like this are an effective way to stand out from all the static pictures in our news feeds.
Image credit: TechCrunch
4. Physical Takes on Virtual Through Augmented Reality Technology
Here at REVEALiO, we’re so excited to be a part of this shift to deeper digital-driven connection. Our use of augmented reality technology bridges traditional print marketing with virtual storytelling. As the world has moved online, so have marketing budgets. Digital marketing is the new and traditional mediums like TV, radio and print are the old. But, again, some innovators are reshaping those age-old channels for the digital age and creating something new altogether.
With REVEALiO, sales and marketing professionals stand out from all the noise of the Internet and boring print pieces. Say you met a prospect at a trade show. As you well know, you are just one in a sea of people they met and you’ll probably disappear from their memory. As a follow-up, send a card in the mail with some intriguing points about your company story and vision – less is more. Then they can easily download the REVEALiO app and, voila, your card comes alive with a video message from you! Talk about unique. And we find those videos work best when it ties into the same principle as Live Streaming, a genuine message from one person to another. This catches their attention, shows you think differently and motivates action. To make sure that action happens right then and there, you provide a call-to-action button on the card for them to reachout. How much do you think that tactic alone would increase your sales conversion rates? Try it out and see!
Wow, what an exciting time to be alive. Know of some other new tech that’s enabling more genuine connection? Are you noticing this shift? Comment below!