3 Tips to Better Connect With Your Audience

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It’s not (always) about you!

In the social media world, balance is everything. On the one hand, a strong strategic vision is crucial. Do the groundwork. Plot a course. Execute the plan.

But don’t get obstinately fixated on staying the course. Social media is one of the most important (and impact-making) touch points brands have with consumers. The ability to pivot and ensure your customer’s satisfaction is a powerful ability indeed.

How can a brand share content that is true to their vision but still takes into consideration what the customer wants and needs? Here are 3 ways.

1. Meet Them Where They’re At

Customers respond differently to messages depending on their source of delivery. In 2018, B2C emails had an average open rate of 19.7% which illustrates the sustaining effectiveness of this form of marketing. Even still, what your brand does well with eCRM might not translate to social. Shoppers are savvy. Brands must now pivot their storytelling in ways that make sense on the respective platform their patrons are actively engaged with.

Skincare brand Kiehl’s does a terrific job of creating clear distinctions with their approach to building content. Their emails are very transactional, their website integrating more engaging components like a skin routine questionnaire. Upon visiting their Instagram feed, they extend their brand narrative with a myriad of visual micro-stories.

Leaning into your brand’s nuanced differences displays a higher degree of awareness of how to speak with your consumers in as authentic a way as possible. With 90% of millennials appreciating “authenticity.” this bodes well for future efforts.

2. Be Okay with Shutting Up (and listening)

As Marty Neumeier has said, “Brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” More than ever, it’s an incredibly actionable piece of advice. Social listening tools like Netbase and Brandwatch can assist you in determining the conversation and sentiment around your brand. Since social listening compiles an amalgamation of peoples’ current attitudes and feelings about your brand and/or products, these insights can be very powerful when trying to attain, keep, and hone your competitive edge.

In an interview with Econsultancy, Amy Vetter, Samsung’s Senior European Digital Insights Manager, talked about some of the ways that Samsung uses social listening to sharpen their marketing efforts. She noted that with the help of Crimson Hexagon, an AI-powered consumer insights platform, her team can go further in ensuring their marketing reflects current usage trends among consumers. “We can understand that people are using the phone to take pictures, maybe of an après-ski, or on the beach; and we can go out and mimic that type of imagery to resonate with our consumers.” Instead of going to market with solely what they thought was interesting, Samsung was able to tap into a relevant content stream with their consumers and saw increased engagements.

When analyzing listening data, identify what’s positive and see how you can do more of it. If the feedback is negative, analyze and brainstorm how to best course correct. You should never take every negative comment to heart, but search for what seems constructive. That way, you will be able to craft new talking points that align with your brand which now incorporates crucial feedback from the desired audience you want to connect with.

3. Don’t Obsess (too much) About Your Budget

Even in an age of social ubiquity, social-first creative content often gets overlooked. One common excuse? Budget. It’s good to be mindful about budgets, but brands don’t always need limitless resources to produce great social content. They just need to get creative.

Balenciaga, one of fashion’s most iconic luxury houses, posts quirky images that are generally shot on a mobile device and then shared to their 9 million Instagram followers. Their most engaged post of the last 6 months—a shoe with the heel pushed through a citrus fruit. With over 354,000 engagements, this brand is illustrating how social-first content isn’t as precious or hard to come by as many expect it to be. Drunk Elephant, a “clean-clinical” skincare brand which launched in 2013, has also tested the low-lift content waters. Analyzing their top 50 most engaged posts of 2019 reveals that 30% are text-driven posts. These assets can easily be created with free mobile apps like WordSwag, Typorama, or Canva.

Being more “scrappy” gives you many more opportunities to try out novel approaches and gauge how many of your followers are joining you. While the pace of social can create challenges for marketers, it also makes it easier to test various types of content and quickly see what’s effective or not.

SO…

Consumers have high expectations, and it can be challenging to meet them. On social media, however, they follow you for a reason. So don’t be afraid to pivot for them. Give them a reason to stay with you on this journey, and you’ll increase your odds of turning a casual consumer into a true brand advocate.

Calvin Walker

Calvin Walker is a senior marketing strategist based in New York City.
Calvin Walker

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