Tapping The Consumers' Turf
February 22, 2011
Never before have our consumers been so fragmented.
They have their individual preferred channels, eg; Texting, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube, Email, RSS, Apps, etc... Plus, Bookmarking sites like Digg, and aggregators like News.Google.com, etc., and these channels are pretty much their turf. They control who they hear from.
So how do we even connect with a fragmented audience? First, we would decide what channels are actually consumed by our target and then how the brand could benefit by tapping into the consumers turf (will it improve brand awareness, drive, cause or inspire something specific, protect reputation, improve relevance to consumers in comparison to your competitor, etc..?)
But, just like you know that it’s imperative to learn the behaviors/motivations behind the usage of your product, we should always be learning the consumer’s primary purpose behind their chosen channels.
For example, Exact Target research revealed that 70% of Facebook users who like products on Facebook also feel they did not give those products permission to advertise to them. That’s critical to know if Facebook is a channel you hope to build a community with. How do you use a Facebook ‘Like’ page if you can’t advertise to them? Oreo cookie gives a great example...you create dialogue around the brand:
For an example on a local level, here’s one station I work with, WIXX/Green Bay. As we created social/digital strategies, I think it was really hard for everyone to understand why it was necessary to dump the “1.0” mentality. For so long, we’ve pounded our chest and talked at them, about US. Why in the world would we be in front of thousands of people and start indirect conversation?
It takes time for everyone to connect to the “2.0 ” mentality, where conversation is a two-way street. It’s no longer about us as we are now on the consumers turf and to be successful we should play (talk) by their rules.
The team at WIXX has since learned how to create dialogue around the product. In this example, WI was experiencing a snow storm (shocker) and while covering the storm on-air, we engaged our Facebook community with simple dialogue.
As you see, it’s not trying to out clever and be hype type talk - all that status update was intended to do is enhance the primary purpose people are on Facebook and that’s just to have basic conversation.
Unlike the behavior behind Twitter (explained below) which is considered “transactional based”, meaning consumers actually want to interact directly about the product, the fact is Facebook is “conversation based”.
They just want to talk with family and friends but if you can create dialogue around the product, they won’t be so fair weather and leave you, as Exact Target recently found from these Facebook “likers”:
Exact Target dived into the motivation behind Twitter and it’s clear Twitter is again “transactional based” where users are all about finding, consuming and passing along information plus interacting with products. Coca-Cola and Best Buy are two companies capitalizing on the understanding behind the usage of Twitter.
On an entertainment level, Conan is brilliant. He tweets exactly what people expect from him, jokes. He doesn’t directly plug his show but if you follow him you’re subliminally reminded to watch his show after laughing at one of his tweets.
Other permission-based databases such as texting and email also have their own unique motivations. They want exclusive, member-only type, immediate promotions/deals. They really want to feel like an insider. They want us to cut to the chase and just tell us, what’s in it for them?
As you know from the skills that have worked so well with traditional media, we limit our own opportunities to be chosen if we’re not present, therefore we have always made sure we’re physically-on site where consumers expect us to be. Merge those skills with the understanding of where you belong online and apply the appropriate behavior behind each channel.
A favorite saying: “Be where they expect you to be”, oh, and make sure you invite people to join you on these channels. The traditional invite goes a long way.
When we dive into the research & understand the behaviors behind each channel, we’re able to understand how dialogue contributes to the brand, how to cultivate relationships and build brand loyalists.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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