There’s always a face behind every social media account.
Sometimes that “face” is a group of people running the Burger King account and using an app like Buffer. If you work for a big company, this could be the entire team responsible for scheduling posts. Yet, to the follower, there’s a vague sense that “someone” is posting, due to the personal nature of social media.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve accepted a few things about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other apps. We know it’s not as personal as we think it is, and there’s widespread trolling and misinformation on these platforms.
Some social media skeptics, myself included, still believe that social media could be used to improve education and reform as well as to connect people with one another.
Brands that tap into the personal nature of social media, such as Wendy’s and Burger King, know that we like to think there’s a real person behind every account.
That’s why, one trend I’m seeing for 2022 is that companies will start personalizing accounts by hiring a social media correspondent.
This person is the face of your brand. They might be someone who signs-off on posts that include his/her name. It’s somewhat common on Facebook, where you might see “the brand” reply to a comment or message and include a personal note and sign-off about who actually answered. You might get a comment from Target and then Samantha’s name.
Social correspondents will be able to go further in 2022. The game show Wheel of Fortune is an example of such a program. A new social correspondent will have a prominent last name. Maggie Sajak, who started the show in November last year as a social correspondent, will continue to interview guests, reveal backstage secrets and have fun just like her father, Pat. This will be done on social media, and not the TV show. Here’s how they introduced her:
Maggie can also be a country singer.
It’s a smart move to have her concentrate on social media. Fans now have an agent who can respond, comment and interact with them in a more authentic way. That said, I suspect even with Maggie Sajak in this role, there’s still a social media team that handles the scheduling.
An example of a correspondent would be a journalist for a television station. Or, perhaps, a spokesperson as Flo in Progressive’s commercials.
Although you might not want to make someone the brand’s face, there are many opportunities to offer your followers an additional point of contact. This person will help them with their questions. The same person could also interview, blog, or show up to events.
It works because we all have experienced social media’s robotic nature, which makes it seem like an algorithm runs everything. In some cases, that’s exactly true. To auto-respond, bots can be used by businesses.
My hope is that, if the role of social media correspondent becomes more common, trolling will subside a little and we’ll start adding a dose of respect once in a while. It’s easy to get mad at a bot, but maybe not when there’s a real person involved.