People gain confidence online and that can become real

During our social business event last week we encouraged delegates at the event to tweet their comments using the #tpsocmed hashtag. Many did and you can still take a look at some of those tweets here.

I was interested in how many people from across the world were commenting on the event as it happened – people who were not there in London, but were giving live feedback on what our speakers were saying.

One example is that psychologist Charles Sutton talked of the difference personas people can have in real time and online. This is important knowledge for companies planning a social media customer service channel, but Charles talked in broad terms about how behaviour can be very different in real life and online for the same person.

The immediate point is that a plain old complaint can easily turn into abuse once a customer feels that they have the security of social media providing a mask for them – people say things online they never would in person.

But one Twitter user said something different when she noticed what Charles had said – our UK CEO Alistair Niederer had been tweeting many of the comments speakers were making.

She described how a terrible lack of confidence had led her to live a social life that was increasingly online, where she developed a strong personality, many online friends, and the confidence she lacked in real life. However as time went on, that online persona filtered back into her real life… she had created a strong online persona and this helped her to become stronger and more confident in real life.

This entire debate spiraled from one Twitter message by Alistair commenting on what Charles had said at our social business event and once again underlines the importance of taking part in the online debate – there are valuable comments and conversations taking place all the time out there. You just need to go and find them.

Masks

Photo by Macknal licensed under Creative Commons

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