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For years we’ve used the terms B2C and B2B. But in the past couple years we’re realizing that the social aspect of H2H, or human-to-human, is what really matters.

Ted Rubin, co-author of Return on Relationship, along with Kathyrn Rose, knows about the importance of relationship between the business and the consumer. He reminds us that instead of focusing so much on ROI, we need to also include ROR. It all starts with the relationship.

Bryan Kramer wrote a book titled: There is no B2B or B2C. Human to Human: H2H. In the beginning of his book he defines H2H:

“Communication shouldn’t be complicated. It should just be genuine and simple, with the humility and understanding that we’re all multi-dimensional humans, every one of which has spent time in both the dark and delightful parts of life.

That’s human to human.”

Both Ted Rubin and Bryan Kramer have excellent advice on how to accomplish the human and relationship aspect of how companies should relate to consumers. They both certainly have more knowledge about it than me and can set it forth more eloquently, so I’m not going to try and compete with them.

What I will do is tell you what I’ve learned from my own experience as both an online community manger and as a consumer. Here’s how I see “human to human” working for companies.

1. Talk to people.

Talking to people is basic. You greet, introduce yourself, ask about the other person and engage in conversation. It’s easy to do the same on social. People do it everyday. Companies and brands can do the same. I enjoy it when a company takes the time to have a conversation with me.

2. Be available.

Human relationships are normally give and take. We listen to each other attentively. As a business on social media the same applies. If your customer has a question, a complaint or some concern, then you show your availability by being present and aware of what’s being said. Step in quickly and be the answer to the need.

3. Help. Don’t sell.

It’s tempting to post content with the sole intent of promoting and selling your product or service. But that’s not how a relationship works. Your primary purpose on social media is to help. You help by the type content you post and the way you respond to your followers. Don’t be a robot, mindlessly spewing the company message without any thought to who is on the receiving end.

4. Say please and thank you.

As humans we observe basic etiquette with each other. We’re polite. When we ask, we say please. And when someone says something nice to us, we say thank you. In other words, don’t just make black and white statements. Be genuine in your engaging with your followers, and treat them with respect and consideration.

5. Keep in touch

All of us have lost touch with friends we made in High School or college. It happens. But you don’t want that to happen on your social media sites. So keep in touch. Listen and check back with your followers who have engaged with you to make sure the relationship between you is still going well. You don’t want to forget them, and you certainly don’t want them to forget you!


So there you have it: five simple ways to relate to your followers in the H2H way.

And as Ted Rubin says, “Relationships ARE the new currency – honor them, invest in them, and start measuring your ROR!”