We couldn’t agree more with the wise words from life coach and author, Rasheed Ogunlaru.
Communication was once defined as a one-way process, during which a message would be conveyed from sender to receiver. It’s safe to say that in this day and age, this old communication model has become obsolete.
Consumers no longer want brands to tell them what and what not to like — they want to be a part of the process. And that’s why it’s no longer enough to simply communicate with consumers.
Instead we invite you to…
Strike up a conversation.
We prefer to step away from the idea of communication and move towards “conversation.”
By conversing with consumers, you can involve, engage and learn from them so you can better your brand.
This requires the active participation of both parties, and that’s exactly what you need to foster a stronger emotional connection with your customers.
Start by treating your customers like actual people, instead of potential money machines that you can aggressively promote your products to. Not every Instagram post needs a “click here NOW!”, the same way not every Facebook post should be a blatant advertisement.
Before trying to convert the customer, converse with them first. Thanks to social media, conversing with consumers is made much easier today.
See how Netflix does it.
Notice how they’re actually conversing person-to-person rather than brand-to-consumer? There’s no CTA in sight, no hidden promotional copy — their replies sound like you’re texting your best friend.
Because there are loads of messages flying around the social media sphere, brands need to compete for their customer’s attention before they can actively engage and learn from them. To do this, they must be relevant and relatable to entice participation from their target audience.
As you aim to provide an outstanding customer experience for your consumers, you should gather their feedback so you know what works.
Consumer feedback is really valuable information. It can help your brand improve its current line of products and even direct ideas for future innovations.
The English Premier League club Manchester City FC pooled feedback from loyal football fans through focus groups, surveys and prototype designs when they were working on revamping the website.
By getting supporters to offer their insights, the club was able to design a mobile-friendly, video-rich experience that featured trending and relevant football updates with a new layout.
Engage consumers as brand advocates.
As part of a conversational brand strategy, brands can also engage consumers as brand advocates.
Brands can tap on influencers or even loyal and engaged customers to and get them to create user-generated content for social media platforms.
New Balance engaged prominent influencers such as Valerie Wang, Rachel Wong and Sophia Chong to take part in their #ReimagineMyCraft campaign which promoted the New Balance 997 H.
Brands can also leverage on the huge count of followers these social media personalities have to boost reach while generating more awareness about new products.
Other brands such as Levi’s and Puma have also adopted this strategy to promote their products and connect better with their target audience.
In an effort to promote their line of PUMA Cali sneakers, Puma sent out media kits to a pool of influencers who then created content for them and posted the visuals on their personal social media handles. In the one above, there’s even a CTA to participate in a giveaway.
Engaging brand advocates works because people can put a face to your brand. When a global brand reaches out to local influencers in each country, it’s even more effective especially when the target audience can relate to the social media personality. TOC