Wednesday February 11, 2015

Where is the Love?

A Marketing Reality Check

Valentine's lantern with heart illuminated on wall

Valentine’s Day – maybe you’re a romantic or maybe you take a cynical view of the hearts, flowers, chocolates and fizz that commodify love.

But stop and think for a minute about that word – love – how often do you use it? How often do you say “I love…” followed by something you saw on YouTube, a particular brand of chocolate, a meal or a car?

And when you “love” in this way, what is it that you’re really saying?

River deep, mountain high

I’ve been running sessions introducing budding entrepreneurs to social media marketing. This has made me think in a very back-to-basics way about the why, how and what works in social media for business.

It could be our British reserve or just that we do things differently on this side of the pond. But I steer away from the idea that, for your social media, or indeed any other marketing activity, to be effective, the people you’re interacting with must “love,” or develop some deep emotional investment, in you or your brand, and what you do.

When “like” will do

You may really enjoy and have enthusiasm for your business, but be honest, is your dial turned up to that same level for the products and services that you want or need?

It would be disingenuous to expect your customers to feel the same as you about your business. They see what you offer as a means to an end, accessing something that will help them, save them time and/or money and make their business run more smoothly.

And that’s of course what you do. If you’re savvy, you do yourself a massive favour by always giving them a little bit more of a reason to stick with you, see my post on how to manage expectations.

The social dimension

What social media does, is another dimension to your brand. It’s your business on Casual, Dress-Down Friday. It gives people a reason to connect with you, above and beyond the nuts and bolts of the actual service or product that you provide. It’s a way of conveying likeability, revealing personality and so differentiating yourself – making the most of that “people buy people” thing.

Reciprocity makes the world go round

So make those connections and build an audience by mixing it up. Post your updates, invite comments, ask for opinions, share yours and other people’s useful content and contribute to conversations that are happening online.

And do work those emotional touch-points: tell your story, tell your customers’ stories and how you helped them. Make it so that your audience, in reading, hearing or viewing your content, recognise themselves and their own dilemmas.

But don’t expect anything more than cupboard love. The currency here is reciprocity and that’s what keeps the business world spinning. Aim for your audience to get to know, understand, use and like you.

And creates opportunities

And if you’d like someone to help you make the most of key dates in the calendar and the seasonal possibilities they offer, do get in touch with me because I do love blogging!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: