The consensus is turning: analog marketing techniques are out, and digital marketing is enthusiastically replacing them. Everywhere you turn, the traditional vs. digital war rages on. If you’re having a hard time picking sides, however, don’t worry, because you’re not alone. Analog methods aren’t going anywhere, despite what the trends are.
According to the University of Southern California, potential and current customers will react to your social media efforts in
Customer empathy is based in a person’s emotional reaction to an advertisement. This could be based on the ad tugging on their heartstrings, or perhaps simply to make the viewer feel more comfortable with the brand presented. Through social media, there are a number of ways to accomplish this:
- Creating a sense of approachability
- Perpetuating a “real human” aspect behind the screen
- Appearing relatable to a customer’s daily life
- Opening doors to easy recognition offline
For customers considering one brand over another, one of the main deciding factors is going to be how comfortable they feel while in the company’s presence. This could include the instant vibe they get walking into the front office, through something like the use of advertorial panels or another form of decoration, or visual marketing, that isn’t too gaudy or in their face. Or, it could be simply how the company portrays themselves online by combining both digital and analog techniques into the social media presence.
Social Media Managers who contribute to online marketing should not only focus their efforts on customer interaction and collaboration, but also how their business’ image is being perpetuated online. Are your image galleries excessively graphic-based, or do they include photos of your workforce? Is there evidence of real-world interaction, such as charity events or examples of positive office culture?
Customers are more likely to forward their interest and money into those businesses who are more than seemingly just a graphic designer making nice promotional images (though they themselves have an important place in the digital marketing world!). Instead, why doesn’t your office staff produce a handwritten thank-you poster for those whose business you keep, or something along those lines? Not everything posted has to come from photoshop, or another digital-based graphic creator.
This leads us to our next point:
Humanity Behind the Screen
Including the “proof” that a team of real people are behind the wheel of your business and your customers’ interests is just as important. It’s crucial to use social media platforms to prove that you have a good head on your shoulders, not to mention are personable.
In an internet world obsessed with tracking down bots, fake-news sources, and any other kind of deceiving entity, more than ever will showing the personality behind a social media account allow for a better chance at building trust with potential customers.
Particularly if a social media account is geared toward representing an entire company, it should give that impression. Rather than only one employee being the highlight of social media posts, such as in photos, in the content behind it, everyone should be featured in one way or another. Whether that be in spotlight photographs, employee interviews, or simply allowing employees to offer their suggestions in terms of how any particular social media account should be run. With that in mind, customers wanting to enlist your company will have a better understanding not only of the people they will likely be working with, but also the type of environment that exists in the office.
A business owner who is actively taking part in customer communication not only appears friendlier, but more approachable, as we explored above. When customers are able to put a face to a name, through photographs and other “traditional” methods of communication, they will be more comfortable approaching your business with questions or comments.
One more thing to keep in mind: should you choose to include employees in your social media posts, if their own personal social media accounts are public, make sure that they are presenting themselves in a professional way that may not accidentally turn off any potential customers. UEI College suggests:
- Check Privacy Settings
- Remove Shady Connections
- Keep Profile Pictures Professional
- Don’t Forget LinkedIn
- Think Before You Post
Nothing is a bigger turn-off for customers, particularly on a commercial level, than a business that appears all corporate inside and out. Without a sense of human contact, any such business is likely to appear more standoffish and unwelcoming, therefore risking a retreat from potential clients.
With that in mind, on top of including images of your workplace culture, friendly employees, etc., dedicate time to also including signs that your team is exactly like everyone else, in that they have lives inside and outside of work.
Whether that includes appealing to the masses through trending hashtags or a tongue-in-cheek reference to last night’s reality TV finale, not only will you further the impression that you’re a human being, you’ll also appear contemporary and active.
Particularly if you’re savvy to trade shows and other physical marketing of your business, making sure you’re the same online as well as off is just as important as overall branding. If potential customers know your online appearance through digital marketing, but cannot pick you out in a crowd, it closes the door on possible opportunities.
As you might snap a photo of your workforce participating in a charity run, be sure to boost when you’re participating in a trade show or similar conferences. Include a photo of your booth, where to find you, as well as perks of stopping by. Make sure you’re easily visible through the use of large banners and other graphics that will draw people in, and make sure they match those you’re showing off online. You never know when an online fan is going to want to stop by!
While the traditional vs. digital war continues to rage, keep in mind that it doesn’t apply to all branches of human interaction. For example, some people enjoy reading eBooks and others prefer hard copies, but that doesn’t make one more “correct” than the other. Appeal to the masses by incorporating both traditional and digital marketing tactics into your methods, and you’re unlikely to fall short either way.