Social Media: From Persuasion to Engagement

It’s my Mother-In-Law’s birthday. She’s that sticky-sweet type, so she’s easy to shop for, but of course I want to get her something good.

There’s a Tuesday Mornings not far from my house, and I’ll be in the vicinity of a Target sometime this week, but that’s not where I’m headed. I’m going to my favorite antique store, The House on Clinton. 

Just as sure as I’ll hear the bell on the door chime at my entrance, I also hear Clyde, the shop owner, say “Why Hello, Dear.”

She and her husband saw us through our dating years and now into our marriage with gifts and great conversation of wood-working and local auctions.

I’ll scavenge every room until I’ve found an antique vase in a vintage shade of mustard yellow that I’ll fill with fresh flowers. 

The moral of this story is that when I have to buy something,  9-10 times I’d rather buy from somewhere that offers me a unique experience and a social interaction with people I want to buy from. 

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Ready for the take-away?

People want to spend their money with businesses and people that they like; someone who understands them on some sort of emotional level. 

I’d like to piggyback off of something Jay Baer said on this topic.

“Letting the customers decide for themselves that they really want to know you, versus persuading them that they should, can make a very big difference in the relationship that ensues.” 

I’m loyal to the brands that I love, not because they force marketing pitches down my throat.

I’m loyal to brands that I love because they have a cool product, and they’ve given me good reason to think that they understand who I am as a person.

So what does this have to do with digital marketing?

Social media has created a revolutionary means of advertising, but, unless you can convince your customers that your website and Facebook pages are in fact run by human beings who are worth talking to – you’re digital efforts will be white noise.

So how do you move from persuasion to engagement? I’ve come up with a couple of ideas and please forgive me when they sound like common-sense (because they might just be).

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  1. Treat online connections like relationships. The internet really has a way of showing the worst of human nature at times. Use manners and common sense on social profiles just like you would if you were having a conversation with costumers in person.
  2. Give your audience a human connection. Let people know who runs your Facebook page or other social profile. Allow then to see behind the curtain and know that you are not just phoning it in. One simple way to do that is to make a clarifying statement in the “about me” piece of your profile stating who runs the page and how to contact them.Talk like a person, not like an advertisement. You are not going to gain conversions if all you are doing is recycling advertisements on social pages. It’s good to use pronouns so that your followers feel like they are talking to a real person.
  3. Introduce yourself to them instead of waiting for an introduction.Follow someone and start a conversation around their content. If you take interest in their life and livelihood there is a better chance they will connect with what is on your profile and website. Start by liking people you want to do business with or even someone who just has an interest in your market. From there, comment, like and share their content. Chances are they’ll do the same for you.
  4. Boast on stakeholders.It’s like the yearbook. People just buy year books to look at their own picture. You need to brag on your fans so that they stay invested in you. This means speaking well of your employees, customers, community, collaborators, and even your competition from time-to-time. Invest in them and they will invest in you.
  5. Don’t talk about yourself. I’m totally serious. Just don’t. Talk about things you have in common. Share helpful tips, tricks and news but do not include some sort of self identity in every post.

Meet the Author

Emily Heinkel is a journalist-turned-marketer with a knack for creative communications and digital marketing strategies. She prides herself on creating original content that speaks to targeted audiences through conversational language, compelling images and moving storytelling.

Heinkel began her career with Ad4! two months after graduating from Troy University with a multimedia journalism degree. As a Trojan, she was a reporter, photographer ...
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