Jacobs Media’s social media maven, Lori Lewis, continues her Friday series on “Balance” – best practices for radio’s use of the digital toolbox. She’s breaking out each letter of B-A-L-A-N-C-E to provide on-point information about social and digital assets and how the best can be utilized. Here’s the letter “L” to wrap up this week:
By now, you have a website, Facebook page, a Twitter handle, and you’re wondering what’s next. Maybe you’ve seen (as in last week’s blog on Balance) some of the consumer behaviors and cultural trends that stand out, allowing you to interact more deeply into these digital spaces.
We have a new league of consumers and a new kind of distribution. Building communities on these digital and social devices requires strategic thinking. It’s not about just barging in – it’s about gaining permission through trust to deliver conversations around your brand.
In this week’s “7 Crucial Steps to Balance,” we dive into the letter “L”- Leveraging trust and knowing your objectives with every communication.
Leveraging trust within your most loyal and even the most passive portions of your audience can be critical. One wrong interaction can chip away at even the strongest brand. Remember this classic tweet?
While Chrysler swiftly fired the guy behind that tweet and later apologized, it is times like these where recovery from this type of incident depends on how strong the trust was between consumer and brand to begin with.
Trust is built through consistency. You gain it when you remain reliable with authenticity and integrity in creating consumer confidence.
It’s only when companies veer away from consistent behavior on all channels – be it traditional, digital or social – that they create confusion and limit the opportunity for trust and relevant growth.
It’s rather ironic that the future of marketing and leveraging trust actually lies in the realm of personal and shared experiences – because that’s also the essence of radio. Think about it: personal and shared experiences – a good story, a fun question, a time in people’s lives. The strength of radio’s traditional channel – what I call “the mother ship” – has always been about connecting with an audience.
Digital and social devices are no different. They work when the consumer feels like the center of the experience and has a reason to talk about the brand and its assets (music, personality, community, etc.) They work when we make it easier for the conversation to take place, devising content with emotional triggers that stimulates and welcomes responses.
Leveraging trust and knowing your objectives with every single communication takes an overall understanding of how you can benefit from tapping into these devices.
Some of these benefits include:
- Increasing relevancy, interactivity, and awareness of your brand
- Gathering information from the audience to help the station’s programming and marketing
- Identifying new opportunities through the audience’s comments and interaction patterns
- Hearing the buzz about you – what they’re saying and what they’re not
- Responding to consumers’ needs
- Improving the loyalty factor
- Building up and broadening website traffic
- Facilitating community movements and service
- Growing the bottom line by offering multiple channels and avails for clients to engage with
These are in no particular order. Each brand will benefit in different ways by devising a social communications strategy that leverages audience trust.
A clear vision of how both you and your audience can benefit from digital and social channels is where you start. Once you define that purpose, then determine which channels are actually used and consumed by your target and understand the expected behavior behind those avenues.
Remember, we’re talking about leveraging trust. If you barge into a social community such as Facebook and start smothering live feeds with promos screaming about “where you’re going to be next,” trust will be difficult to develop.
Pushing promotions, contests, and appearances don’t build trust. They just interfere with the primary purpose people spend time on social sites. One of the best ways to build trust and motivate consumers is to join them in what they are already doing. Listen to them, converse with them, rather than talk at them.
Be part of their conversation. Join them at their digital cocktail parties and fundraisers. They aren’t really waiting around to comment on your Facebook page or latest blog – but if you’re sharing content that evokes emotional triggers, you’re making it easier to start the conversation. And in the process, you’re giving your brand an opportunity to reach new audience segments and strengthen your awareness and reputation.
There’s a great saying from thought leader Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Consumers have choices. Our brands cannot be a viable part of those decisions if we’re not present, building trust, and treating every interaction as personably and respectfully as possible.
Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. It’s always great to hear your perspective.
To read Lori’s other “Balance” blog posts, click below.