You Really Push My Buttons – Connecting on an Emotional Level Through Social Media

27 Jul

So emotional

We are emotional creatures

Human beings are, at our core, emotional beings. While some decisions are made by carefully weighing the pros and cons, examining the data and projecting a likely outcome, the majority of our decisions are made, at least in part, by our emotions.

There is a whole, unspoken conversation going on in our heads all the time when we are exposed to information about a product. How does a product make me feel? How will it make me look to others? How do I feel about the person or company selling the product?

If you want to establish a strong brand, then you need to inspire strong emotions. Strong emotions are not only the key to getting people to buy your product, but they are also absolutely necessary to create customer loyalty (repeat buyers) and “brand ambassadors,” people who will go out on the Internet and become evangelists for your brand.

In the process of inspiring strong emotions, you may get some people who become haters because they have a negative emotional reaction to your brand. But that’s OK. You may have heard the old marketing adage, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,
and that holds true here. Even haters generate discussion about your brand, and discussion is far better than silence.

Social media is a technology that is rife with emotion. People who post content in text, photo, video, or audio, do so because the subject inspired, intrigued, angered or excited them. If you are face to face with someone and they bring up a subject that you do not have strong emotions about, you will most likely talk about it to be polite. However, if you feel neutral about something, you will never respond, comment, post or tweet about it on social media.

Put yourself in their shoes

Put yourself in their shoes

So, we have a platform where we can connect to our prospects on an emotional level – social media sites. But how, exactly, can we do it? Here are some guidelines:

  • First, listen. Go to forums that discuss your topic and listen to what people are saying about your brand (if it is already established), about your competitors (if they are large and well defined) and about your industry. Find out what they need and how they feel. Are they frustrated because your competitor is giving them poor customer service? Do they feel like they’re being ripped off? Do they absolutely love a particular feature/design/policy/type of interaction and tell everyone about it?
  • Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. People go online in order to connect with human beings, not to be sold. Don’t be the used car salesman that everyone is trying to avoid. In a sense, you need to take off your sales hat and connect to people on a more personal level. Hopefully, if you own or work for a company, you feel that it provides value, solves a problem, helps people in some way. This is the energy you want to connect to when you go on Facebook or another social media site, not the “I need X number of sales within the next Y months through this channel” kind of perspective.
  • Share. Once you know the needs out there, work to offer solutions. Some solutions may be through using your product, but some won’t be. Offer both, in a ratio of at least 3:1, non-product related to product related. By sharing from a genuine place, you will be building on one of the most valuable of all emotions, trust.
  • Get emotional. In the first step, you learned the emotions surrounding your brand or product. Now, use emotional words and images that also evoke emotions in your posts and promotions.  Let’s say your product is a nicely designed consumer gadget. Use words that provoke lust for the item, such as sleek, sexy, slick, cool, cutting edge, etc. For a financial service, you would want to tap into the prospect’s need to trust by using words like solid, experienced, trusted, strength, secured, and proven.

If you put yourself out in the social media space using these guidelines, you will build up an emotional connection between your prospects and your product or brand. Don’t expect it to happen overnight – these things take time. Be consistent in the emotions you are targeting, but don’t be afraid to occasionally throw in some outrageous promotions or statements to shake things up. The worst thing you can do to your brand is to bore people with it.

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