I asked Facebook fans to describe in word what their favorite thing is about social media.

Answers included things like: flexibility, community, connection, dynamic, engagement, leaning, people, friends and relationships (some answers more than once).

I noticed the bottom line, the common thread that the majority of answers have in common, is people and relationships.

This is actually pretty telling in that, while this isn’t any type of official survey and the base is small, it demonstrates that engaging with other people, building relationships and sense of community, are what draw people to the medium.

relationshipsNotice the lack of marketing-geared answers. Note no one suggested they jump to social networks to be sold to, to be forcefed marketing jargon. No one talked about shopping, or even really brands.

This is not to say that businesses don’t belong on social media, they certainly do, but it’s important to use the opportunity to humanize your brand and to really connect to each other.

As displayed by these answers, folks aren’t jumping online to talk to brands, they’re jumping online to talk to the people behind those brands.

Are you doing all you can to build relationships on behalf of your business?