It might seem ironic, but the key to marketing in the digital age lies in brands acting more human. But how do you establish emotional connections with perfect strangers on social? By letting them lead.
There was a time when it made sense to think of your brand as the center of the universe, offering up solutions to any number of problems – because consumers responded to that. But social media has shifted the balance of power into consumers’ hands.
They don’t have to take your brand’s word for anything anymore – because the entire universe is available with a click or a swipe. They have immediate access to all the research they could want – testimonials and reviews by other consumers, price comparisons, etc.
What’s left then?
Customer service – which in the world of social media equals: human connection. Unlike old-school tactics that preyed on a captive audience – like commercials during daytime TV – digital marketing is about well-timed messaging that connects to consumers on a human level.
Meeting the goal of getting consumers to pull the trigger on your sales page won’t happen with in-your-face sales pitches. Instead you must actually get to know consumers well enough to engage them in authentic, human conversation.
Feeling your way
The obvious question is, “How?” The answer is easier than you may think: “By leveraging the data on social in a new way.” The information is out there – people post on social media every second of the day. What you need to uncover is what drives this constant social sharing? And that’s easy too: emotion.
Passion, annoyance, love, hate, sentimentality, anger, laughter, empathy, generosity – these are the feelings that inspire consumers to post on social media. This – and the fact that it’s all about them – is what you’ve got to tap into to join the conversation.
Once you do you’ll be able to take your marketing to a deeper level. Forget demographics, which give you a rough outline of who your audience is. The key now is psychographics – and finding new audience segments based on look-alikes, feel-alikes, want-alikes and do-alikes.
It’s very freeing.
Let’s say you’re Taco Bell. And you search in the demographic you think comprises most of your audience – 18-34-year olds, for example. When you see that many of these social users are talking about Little Debbie snack cakes as much as they are about tacos, you might feel inspired to form a dessert partnership to appeal to this audience.
But what about the 40-somethings who also love Little Debbie and post about their food cravings on social? Don’t you want to know about them, and see if they would go for a Taco Bell combo that includes a Little Debbie dessert? That’s why searching on common interests makes more sense than using demographics alone.
And there’s no end to the segments you can create.
Talking the talk
But then what do you do? Well, then it’s time to deliver individualized messaging crafted for each segment. But there’s more to that as well – because consumers use language differently online.
Abbreviations online are much more common than IRL (in real life). Then you’ve got to think about emojis and “slanguage”… If your social media monitoring tool can’t decipher these “languages,” you won’t have a full dimensional picture of your audience.
And of course, you won’t be able to speak back to them in the language they prefer.
But don’t worry. Finding your audience and getting them to “feel” your brand is easy when you apply these strategies – with a little help from us.
When you’re ready to learn more, or give us a try, get in touch!
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