Most businesses are still trying to navigate the use of social media as a marketing strategy. Even seasoned marketers are having trouble figuring out just how to leverage social media to get their message out – And therein lies the real problem. Social media shouldn’t be seen as a megaphone, used for one way broadcasting.
Connecting is part of life.
We have all had those moments where we’ve instantly “clicked” with someone or been completely turned off by them. Masters at networking will tell you that most times when approaching someone new, they are looking for a way to find something in common with that person, because that common bond can easily lead to an “emotional connection”. The truth is, those companies that are mastering the art of social networking aren’t much different.
Emotions are central to the likelihood of people spreading the word about you.
There have been studies released recently that prove how important emotions are in the process of word of mouth advertising. Online word of mouth is seen by way of sharing content, recommending a business through a review, or venting on a website. Whether good or bad, emotions are a driving force behind causing customers to take action. Customer service leader Zappos gets this and trains staff on what they call PEC or Personal Emotional Connection which increases the likelihood of not only repeat customers, but customers willing to share the good news with others.
Connecting on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook is actually pretty easy when you start to see these mediums as less of a broadcasting platform and more like that of a place where friends convene. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share your content with your “friends”, but that you should only share content that they would actually find interesting enough to comment on, share or interact with and this means knowing your audience. Who is listening? Who is talking to you? What are their interests? Each network is different and should similarly have its own unique marketing plan that is centered around finding out who is following you and how you can make a connection with them. And before you go saying that it’s impossible to connect personally with most of your followers, see this article for some examples and ideas on how to connect emotionally with 140 characters.
Company blogs should similarly have a “voice”. Don’t be afraid to allow staff to blog on topics that are in their line of expertise, as each of your staff will have their own style of writing that may connect with a prospect. With sharing becoming more important in recent search engine updates, you will find that boring company blogs that drone on and on like a series of press releases are soon to be tossed by the wayside in lieu of blogs that people can connect with.
With all mediums, the key to making a personal connection is being a real person.
Lose the scripts and fear of being yourself. Bring on people with a real knack for customer service to represent your company via social media – whether in house or using a social media marketing company. Know that marketing via social media is less about “marketing” and more about customer service and connecting.
Companies that choose to continue the same ol’ thing will quite likely be left behind by competitors who are working towards true personalized marketing that evolves with the desires of customers and their ability to have a voice and be heard. Soon personal connection will be a necessity that companies won’t be able to ignore.