Consumers are virtually bombarded by ads, commercials and content from brands. Facebook ads, YouTube ads, banner ads, newsletters, re-marketing, cold calling (people still do it!) – you name it, your audience is exposed to it.
Quite tiring, isn’t it? The amount of brand content knocking at your audience’s door is indeed overwhelming. Enough is enough.
These days, there’s a growing consumer indifference and resilience towards brands and their communication. It seems that customers expect more personalized and suited interactions that make them feel special and cared for. There is an evident shift in communication models as brands are trying to show a more humane face.
To ensure that people want to keep receiving your brand’s content, you have to make an effort to stand out. Here are three keys to developing a powerful human relationship with your audience.
1. Appreciate and care for them
Gary Vaynerchuk, a serial entrepreneur and marketing guru, has his two cents to add here: “What’s the best marketing strategy ever? Care.” Remember that your brand reputation is what your customers say it is, and without the element of care, their response is likely to fall flat.
Bang! Case closed.
If there are more customers who joyfully express their satisfaction in the form of feedback, your brand is the one to benefit. To manage those social mentions, consider using a social listening tool like Brand24. It gives you the opportunity to not only spot people mentioning your brand without the official handle, but also to respond to these mentions in real time.
Being alerted of mentions real time allows you to spot and preempt issues that may create a negative buzz that maybe harmful to your brand image.
Another way to show you care is by appreciating customer effort and engagement. Do your customers like your product? Do you want them to post a positive review or give you awesome feedback? Let them know you appreciate their effort in doing so. Reward them with a discount, a t-shirt, a coffee mug or something else that physically reminds them of your awesome customer care. This will reinforce their opinion of you and they will feel strongly towards your brand.
— James Smith (@JSmith2803) September 28, 2016
In any case, you get back what you give.
2. Help them
Spot your customers having problems and address them ASAP. You’ve got to always be out there, taking care of your customers’ needs.
A lightning-fast reaction is always appreciated, and it is also a way to win more customers. Keep in mind that customers use the web and social media not only to express dissatisfaction, but also to share their positive experiences with brands.
There’s also another way to help consumers.
Imagine you’re running shoe store in Sydney’s central business district and a guy just tweeted:
It so happens that you’re using a social listening tool to monitor keywords such as “shoes”, “shoe shop”, “Sydney”, “CBD”, etc. You instantly get a notification that this guy in his tweet mentioned your monitored keywords.
You reach out and invite him to check out your store. It’s called social selling and it means addressing consumers directly interested in your product. In essence, you’re helping this potential customer and he’ll thank you for it.
Social selling is more efficient than traditional selling, because you don’t waste your resources on reaching out to people uninterested in your product.
3. Just be a friend
Sounds pushy? Make no mistake – it works. Every brand is run by people for other people. The distance and faceless brand images that were conventionally used are now passe. Brands now need to create relationships with each customer and respond to their personal needs and being a friend works wonders.
Give your audience a ‘behind the scenes’ peek and keep it funny. Present your coworkers, show the office, tweet about your successes and important moments from your company’s life. All of this will enable your audience to cross over from viewing you as a company to viewing the people who make your company, and possibly to befriend them – a huge advantage in today’s marketing scenario. Think about it, people don’t join Facebook to follow brands, they sign up to connect with their friends.
Share your team’s happiness, respond to comments and maintain a sense of humor. Just like a friend is with a friend.
Tomasz Zietek works as a Content Manager in Brand24. He’s passionate about marketing, cycling, typography and food. In his free time, he cycles, travels, cooks and reads a lot. He’s a huge fan of peanut butter and jelly.
Image Credit: Yutaka Tsutano via Flickr.com