No posts in two years and all I have to show for it is this really out-of-date blog!
While some things haven’t changed (I can tend to be very verbose), the last two years have really helped bring a clarity to community building, and most importantly to how to be less pompous. A major theme throughout this period has engagement and connecting people through their passions.
In my personal world much of this revolved around bringing awareness and supporting the great work of others related to community-engagement, the political process, the environment, human rights. Through the many amazing speakers, events, and experiences, some lights have definitely started to turn on upstairs to what drives me and what true engagement is built on.
Professionally this has carried over across the way I build strategies for social media, content/corporate voices, promotions, segmented/dynamic messages, user experience/web products, and overall its truly connected the dots about social theories and how to properly build integrated marketing campaigns across all channels. While it all sounds like a lot of buzz words tossed together, it sits in a way that has never felt so right before because it’s about having a holistic view of how customers interact and perceive and respect a brand, and vice versa.
My new Social Marketing rules:
- Don’t half-ass getting personal with your customers
If your brand wants to be personal about how it communicates it, it cannot half-ass it. You have to commit to becoming a peer of your customers in every which way. This means looking flawed, getting them involved with your process, doing things completely out of kindness, and finding a cause or passion you can both align towards.
- Communicate with value, substance, and humour!
Social media is absolutely inundated with brands trying to push this or that and so is the web. So you need to deal with the fact that you’re already white noise before you even need to start considering the limitations that Facebook, Google, etc puts on you. We’re in an era now where your message will only spread if its uniquely valuable. Whether that’s because of an offer, a startling opinion people want to discuss, or because it’s funny, you cannot accept anything being published that doesn’t satisfy at least some part of this. If you do, you might as well throw away your money.
- Research the hell out of how people interact with your brand
You don’t have the luxury of meeting your customers and seeing all the meta data about their life that you could if you saw their house, met their family, or had coffee with them. You need to do the best thing possible and that’s ensure that anything vital to your business is being tracked. We’re not talking about revenue and number of items shipped, we’re talking what did the customer do when given X choice? What types of colours and web objects do they react to best? What are they passionate about in their day-to-day lives? Answers to each of these will help you build better campaigns and better web products.
- If you’re an old school marketer, just give up
Blanket messaging your customers is over. Don’t even try and speak to them as a big blob and assume that they all came to your company for the same reason. Just throw away the old scripts that spoke to them like you knew what they were going to do next. This is an era where unless your database segmentation, web user experience, targeted offerings, and customer service are all dynamic and served contextually based on who your customer is, you’ll fail.