This paper reports on a small-scale study that explores the impact of social media adoption and use on corporate communications and brand image. The research is carried out in two phases; analysis of brand communications via social media; and a small-scale survey with social media managers. We draw upon Habermas’ theory of communicative action (the ideal speech situation and discourse ethics) in our analysis. The paper concludes that while some companies and public organisations are beginning to understand the importance of ‘real’ conversations with customers, only a small number have adopted the “human brand” approach. We identify limitations of this study and areas for further work.