Why do we talk? We look for information, we develop social bonds, we offer our help and we try to influence the way we're perceived. Maslow theorised on the hierarchy of needs more than 50 years ago and they were revisited a few months ago by Adams in a study of the way we use social media.

What's extraordinary about social media? One of the most unique elements is that it has offered brands the opportunity to suddenly use modes of communication that have been restricted to people for thousands of years. It's not about an interaction based on interruption any more: we're not talking about providing an experience, blocking it with a message and hoping for attention from the audience. We're talking about building value together with people, through conversation.

BNL People

At We Are Social we're glad to work with one of the brands that relishes this change: BNL BNP Paribas. Today, in the august setting of Ara Pacis in Rome, an event took place titled "People, Projects, Technologies: from conversation to trust". Italian journalist Luca De Biase was the moderator for a discussion about how brands can generate value with people. And to mark the occasion, BNL announced the project we've been working on with them, a new way to think about the relationship between brands and people - BNL People.

"People" means "clients", but also the people who work for the bank and in its ecosystem: through discussion, exchange and dialogue, BNL will show its humanity. The employees' involvement is open, honest and transparent: they will take part in this project telling their own stories, both professional and personal. Their passions, interests and their values will be under the spotlight.

One of the elements that struck us the most while working on this initiative is how the bank chose to tell people's stories, to give visibility to whom represent the brand everyday, who make BNL a real "enabler", a "human" institution to support people's projects.

BNL People: People.bnl.it

Toghether with BNL, we've created a series of initiatives to showcase this approach. One of the first is an application that allows everyone to create an infographic to understand their own way to be social, with the objective to introduce the "human" element that characterizes the use of social channels.

BNL People: Infografica

You can find BNL People on several channels: Facebook, Twitter and the website. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, we're looking forward to see more and more brands adopt this approach to conversation as a way to build value with people.