The net is flooded with content. Brands are in constant movement, innovating, creating and sharing information to attract or keep their customers using their human side. According to the study “Digital in 2016” from “wearesocial”, 31% of the world population is active on Social Media but, what keeps the interest of these 2.3 billion people in Social Media? The conversations and interactions generated by these platforms are leading.
From this starting point, I recall Cluetrain’s Manifesto; I take a glance at it and the first point reads “Markets are conversations”, but it is also about relationships. The following 5 theses from the Manifesto show us the importance of the human voice on behalf of companies: it is simple, consumers of your product are human beings and as such you must talk to them. From now on, we will speak only about the first thesis.
Why should brands talk to their users?
If the conversation is an important part of the connection process between brand and client, we have to check the way we do it. It is not the same to dedicate all efforts to speak to users than to make ourselves part of their conversations.
Users already have friends to talk to; they are not looking to brands for that. They expect their problems to be solved, looking for useful and interesting information or to simply have their needs taken care of. So, how can we make this relationship more effective? I want to share these suggestions that will give a more real feel to conversations that you establish with your crowd:
- Your messages as a brand should include an emotional component that allows for a good relationship with your audience.
- Speaking with honesty and humbleness gets you closer to your users.
- Instead of thinking in brand awareness, think about building trust.
- Focus on being part of your crowd’s inner circle and not the other way around.
How to put this to work? It is important to ask questions, offer useful suggestions, let them speak about their experiences with your products or services, share success stories and thank them but, most of all, listen to them and you will have the tools to speak in a more natural way each time. They will keep their brand loyalty and the relationship will be a lot more solid.
What are the brands currently doing?
At this point, I want to show you how the best is being made out of conversations, largely because there are numerous platforms for doing this and here I want to make a pause for a special mention to Snapchat. They recently changed their name to Snap Corp, with a series of improvements that include the sale of glasses for 10-second video filming, which would be their version of the Google Glass.
The so-called “millennial net” already tops Twitter in users, as it already has some 150 million. Brands like McDonald’s, General Electric, HBO, among others, are using it not only to show their content but also as a way to establish a connection with users in the issue of customer service. The advantage is that you can go from offering exclusive content to provide personalized information to followers.
Amazon is an example of this, with a customer service-based campaign for Black Friday. What was the novelty? Its followers were able to see the promotions a day before the rest of users outside Snapchat while at the same time, responded to all inquiries about their offers, purchases, returns and more: the brand added useful information, cleared all doubts and generated trust among its buyers.
So, do you believe it is worth speaking to your users? Of course, it is! And it is important to develop a relationship with them, speaking of the value of sincerity and showing reciprocity: they give you their money, you give them a good product, service and you are useful to meet their needs.
Who doesn’t engage in something like that?