When thinking about digital marketing in terms of social media for your business it’s important to note that social media has become an integral part of how people experience life. Connecting with consumers through social media is essentially connecting with them through important channels in their lives. In this respect if a company can connect with customers and their message resonates with an aspect of their lives or personality then that company has moved from just being social to being more human.
Regardless of the medium people still relate to information and messaging the same way they always have, through exchanging stories. Customers have memories that are intertwined into narratives that illustrate parts of their lives, and when companies and brands connect with those memories they too become intertwined into narratives. This is an essential part of a successful digital marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing Or Digital Listening
Social media outlets have created areas where people can all speak at the same volume for as long as they want to without interruption. For companies this is an opportunity to listen to their customers and target market to understand where their interests lie and what prompts them to take action. Many brands interact with customers in the traditional “waiting for your turn to speak” way, instead of listening, which is a big missed opportunity. Building relationships through digital marketing with customers begins with empathizing with them through things they find meaningful and important.
In order for brands and companies to build meaningful connections with their customers through social media storytelling they need to do the following:
- Information Gathering: Listen to what’s being said in order to find out what your customers are talking about. Figure out what tone of voice they use with different people and brands they interact with. Uncover how they interact with your competitors.
- Analyzing Information: There are different things in each social network that appeal to everyone. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Blogs all have different ways of interacting with users. If your brand isn’t suited to a particular network then it’s probably best to avoid it because if you find yourself forcing an interaction you’ll likely be ignored. Engagement must make sense in terms of what people expect from a specific social network.
- Gather Insights: Now that you know where your brand belongs in the digital social universe you need to understand what value it brings to each social community. Creating emotional connections through storytelling need to connect on a personal level that demonstrates listening and understanding in a genuine way.
In a physical context you won’t find a brand joining a book club or strumming a guitar around a campfire in order to tell stories, but in the digital marketing space it has the ability to resonate on an individual level.