February being the “month of love” has made me reflect on how we communicate love for customers and potential customers in marketing.
If you’ve read anything in way of marketing over the last year, you’ll remember how much of the focus of marketing has moved away from simply presenting your product or offer, and toward building a relationship with your audience, empowering them to become your biggest advocates.
Building Effective Relationships
When I think about building relationships in business, I think it correlates really well to how you build an effective dating relationship. There’s the introduction, some getting to know each other, a little trust, then either the magic happens or it doesn’t and you move on.
The process for business is exactly the same. Someone is introduced to your business, either through another relationship in their life, or through your marketing efforts. From there, it’s a process to convince your target market you are brand or product they like and can trust. As this trust develops further, they’ll be your brand champions for life.
Don’t believe me this actually works? Have you seen the marketing strategy Progressive Insurance has been using through their “Flo” character?
Fitting Social Media Into Your Business
Think about your relationships, your real life relationships. When you know someone, do you only talk about one aspect of life with them, or do you share many various parts of life? If you’re like most, the latter is true, and the closer you are to someone, the more you share with them.
Social Media Marketing is about the relationships you have with your consumers. When someone has a complaint, they want attention. However, people also like to feel good, to be recognized for various things and to know you appreciate them.
Social Media Marketing offers all of this in a way that has been difficult in the past. As you’re probably aware, people reach out to businesses through social when there’s a problem. Whether it’s a service provider whose service is interrupted, or a restaurant who’s made a blubber of a mistake (hello Applebee’s), people turn to Social Media to vent and try to get resolve.
However, people also love to hear from businesses when there’s not a problem, when businesses are just looking to help them feel good or motivated. Take for instance the two most engaged posts to-date at the DirectiveGroup Facebook page (Post #1 and Post #2)
The first think you’ll notice about these is they are both pictures. People LOVE to share pictures on Facebook. However, then you’ll notice that one is just a little about life; the other actually has to do with something related to business.
As you get your business geared up for 2013, be sure not to ignore the relationships and the powerful role they’ll play in your strategy this year. And yes, if you need help building a platform that crosses boundaries and is effective both for direct marketing as well as brand relationships, then give us a call to discuss how an integrated program might look for your business.