By Susan Gill Taylor

Last week, my company’s social media content focused on a critical topic: marketing to different audiences. Being able to understand the concerns of different audiences and connect with them in meaningful ways is an art that should show through in each of your marketing efforts. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.

We often forget that marketing should open the door to a two-way conversation, not simply a way to for your brand to be heard.

The following list can help you with your social media audience, but many of these tips can be applied to other audiences as well. Think of them as tips to create those two-way conversations.

Establish a level of trust.

Why should prospects trust you? What resources and services can you offer? What interest have you shown in your audiences’ various values and concerns? Your marketing should easily answer these topics so that your audiences will be compelled to open up to you.

Show your social media audience that you’re trustworthy by sharing client testimonials, posting links about trends that affect their communities and providing resources that speak to those trends.

Earn your connections. 

How do you show your audiences the way your business works? How do you put a face to your brand? How do you connect your brand to their lives? What kinds of conversations are you having with your audiences? Beginning such conversations may take longer with marketing efforts such as direct mail or other traditional media, but that’s not the case with social media.  Like Skip Prichard, CEO of OCLC, reminds us that “traditional media shape brand preference,” but “digital leads to loyalty.”

Show your social media audience you care about connecting with them by posting behind the scenes videos of your office, sharing interviews with your brand’s leaders as well as team members and engaging with them via entertaining content.

Bring back story time.

We loved story time as children, right? Of course we did. And we love it as adult consumers as well. Think of the poignant Anheuser Busch commercial honoring New York City that featured the well-branded and well-loved Clydesdale horses. The music, the landmarks, the clopping of hooves and finally the bow of the majestic horses to the New York City skyline come together to tell a story of sorrow, love and homage in just over a minute. The power of storytelling in marketing is irrefutable.

Show your social media audience your effective use of storytelling by creating interesting Vine videos, connecting your marketing to popular and timely topics and shaping your marketing around the human side of your brand.

Respond to all feedback.

Responding to positive feedback is easy. You can thank your audiences for their thoughts and assure them that what they think matters to your brand. Responding to negative feedback is of course a bit more difficult. You may be tempted to ignore such feedback or to delete it altogether. Instead of following those inclinations, be respectful to your commenters and reassure them that a solution is in the works. (And then make sure it is.) This goes back to our second tip, as it allows you to be open and honest and show your audiences that your business is one that cares about earning their loyalty.

Show your social media audience you care about their feedback by being active on your chosen accounts and providing consistent responses.

Be likable.

Sure, you want to talk to your audiences about their needs and how you can serve them, which inevitably means discussions of business. But there’s no need to be stoic or unpleasant during those talks or for that matter any talks leading into to the brass tacks. Think of how you like for brands to talk with you and what makes you loyal to them. Likability is right up there with price and value for many consumers; you may offer a great deal to your audiences, but if they don’t see you as likable, their business can quickly find its way down the street to your competitors.

Show your social media audience how likable you are by listening to them and focusing on more than just the brass tacks. Need inspiration? Check out Senator Cory Booker’s Twitter account.

By |2015-03-13T01:38:10+00:00March 13th, 2015|Marketing|