Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
May 26, 2015
If you're a fan of the late Stephen Covey's work, you will recognize that the title of this week's Merge is the fifth habit Covey teaches in his famed book, 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.
And as it relates to the social space, it couldn't be a more fitting piece of advice.
One of the biggest mistakes brands can make when using social platforms is rushing in as if it's a free mass distribution platform, pushing out their agendas, and expecting an immediate return.
Yet never fully understanding why people enjoy the respective platforms.
We know from the research my former employers, Jacobs Media, does with their Techsurveys -- Facebook is personal; people enjoy connecting with friends and family. And Twitter is transactional; people enjoy following others of their own particular interests, as well as consuming news.
As for Instagram, however, we haven't had any research until now. And it comes from its owner -- Facebook.
In their most recent study, Instagram is about "capturing moments with creative expression and providing a connection to a likeminded community."
Translation: Show, don't tell.
The following words were the most used when Gen Z and younger Millennials talked about why they enjoy the visual app:
Respondents were also asked what they are usually doing when they open the app:
Clearly -- what we've discussed for years here on "Merge" is now playing out in research.
When we're checking any social platform, odds are we're not mobile. We're stuck somewhere, or we're waking up, or bored.
That is why posts about joining you at your Jiffy Lube remote are ineffective.
So think about your most recent posts. Now that we have a little more insight into Instagram:
Do they follow suit to why people enjoy the visual app?
Do they respect the moments that people are typically in when they're scrolling through?
The best thing about social is that we can always do a reset and refine our approach. Consider the following tips on becoming an even better communicator.
Embody A Certain Honesty
Visually feed what people believe you are. Never stray from the values and essence of what you are in the lives of the fans all in the name of a quick meme, or bar appearance poster.
Commit to visually elevating the already built in excitement over the station.
Emulate Fan Dialogue
It's a delicate balance when humanizing a brand. Speaking to the younger crowd on Instagram isn't just about being a hipster -- you must have the sophistication and business sense to remember you're speaking as a business.
Follow in the footsteps of your audience; how are they posting on Instagram? In your station's tone of voice, stand out by blending in.
Seek to resonate -- not just to be seen. Many great radio programmers talk about "surprise and delight" on-air; do that socially, too.
Between content coming at us faster than we can consume, and the fact there is code set in place that dictates what we do see - the only way to reach anyone socially is by earning the reputation that our content is worth sharing.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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