We all know that good conversation is key to building any healthy relationship, but constantly talking doesn’t necessarily mean there is any communication (you can ask our ex’s about that). In the marketing sector, especially with social media communication and virtual relationships, the companies who know how to listen are going to be the ones who get to take the customer back home (you know what we mean). In this sense, social media marketing is very similar to dating. The lucky guys are the ones who are actually interested in what she’s saying, make an effort to get her to smile (awwww) and they’re the ones that will get the second date!
As a business, if you’re not totally on top of your game, scoping out the field, and paying close attention to the needs of the consumer, then pull up a chair at the bar and get used to sipping that Shirley Temple by your lonesome. This generation of consumers is smart. Contrary to whatever generalized sociocultural stereotypes may depict of them, they know what they want, and they are highly skeptical of big brand gimmicks. Maybe when television first came out (like in the 1700s), brands could sell mass products with little to no consumer engagement, but now, with the more present and intimate networking of social media, establishing authentic and personalized relationships with customers is what will land you sales. For Authentic Engagement you will need to do a bit of work. Individualize your interactions with your customers, listen to what they’re saying about your product and get their feedback about what they would think of new product development. Even though you’re communicating via computer, try and treat them as if face-to-face. Hey, you might even want to actually meet them in person! You make their life easier with your product, and they’ll make your life easier with their honest feedback.
If you find a steadily decreasing number of customers or a slipping decline in revenue, chances are you’re probably out of touch with your audience. Keep in mind 5 Signs that may indicate you might be exhibiting Out-Of-Touch Syndrome. If you do all your work behind a desk and never in the field, you’re probably missing out on what is actually happening outside of your computer screen (and you’re probably as boring as cement). If you make decisions without any consultation, or if you follow the rules by the book (cement, again) you’re missing the whole damn point of marketing. There is no formula, broseph! Marketing is dynamic, it changes in phases and if you’re not even remotely aware that there are phases, then God help you. The key is to ENGAGE. COMMUNICATE. Go get some ice cream and talk to strangers! (By this we mean find out what is happening with real life consumers. Don’t get too crazy with this one.)
Many people think that to be creative they have to be reclusive, smoke a pipe, and make really paradoxical and artsy comments. Nonsense. Even the most creatively productive and culturally significant artists of the past century were highly collaborative despite their reputations of seclusion. The 99% has the scoop. The point here is that good ideas do not emerge in solitude, they are a product of collaboration, of communication, of tossing ideas back and forth then attempting to materialize them. Hell yeah, Emily Dickinson. She knew exactly what she was doing. And we should know a lot more than her now! (right?) That’s where social media kicks in. Use your networking and your connections for productive stimulation. Your ideas are electric, let’s see some sparks!
You get what we’re saying. Open the lines of communication with your customers, and get all those juices flowing. You can even try to meet face-to-face with them. By establishing personal and real relationships with them, you’ll be able to understand consumerism on the most important and relevant level. And ain’t that the whole point?