Social Media Strategies to Connect

by Blair Evan Ball on February 2, 2011

Social Media Strategies to connect are really not that much different than other goals and objectives that are set within an organization.

1.       Storytelling

Stories engage us. Stories are one of the most effective ways to evoke human emotions. Since early childhood we love to hear stories. They make us happy, sad, scared, excited, content, and intrigued.

Seth Godin wrote “Great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of large, important audiences. A great story is true. Not necessarily because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic.”

Online you are conveying a message about a person, an event, and an outcome which equates to experience. By nature, humans relate to other human experiences.

Harley Davidson – Rebranded

The following was a description for an introductory animation on the Harley Davidson website:

A deep male voice begins with, “Over the last 105 years in the saddle, we’ve seen conflicts, recession resistance, and revolutions. But every time, this country has come out stronger because chrome and asphalt put distance between you and whatever the world could throw at you.”
The sound of the signature Harley engine fades in in while the narration continues. “And the rumble of an engine drowns out all of the spin on the evening news. If 105 years have proved one thing, it’s that fear sucks (and it doesn’t last long).” Then, the sound of a motorcycle taking off blares while the voice proclaims, “So what. Let’s ride”

“Great stories are subtle. Surprisingly the fewer the details a marketer spells out, the more powerful and compelling the story becomes. “ Talented marketers understand that allowing people to draw their own conclusions is far more effective than announcing the punch line.

2.       Positioning

The technique of open-ended messaging is known as conditional positioning. Something we discussed above in the Harley example.  It was not a literal story, but one that included open ended elements, that allowed consumers to insert themselves into the scenario.

Positioning is the best way to allow consumers to insert themselves into the scenario because it presents the brand in a customer-centric manner, rather than with a product-centric focus.

  • Imagery
  • Photos

Both play an important role in the positioning of your brand.

3.       Appealing to your senses

Using words and picture that engage the five senses elicits emotional responses our brains find hard to ignore. Like the rush of an ocean breeze, the crying of a little child, waves crashing on the beach. Words and images can suggest taste, touch, and smell that will connect with your existing experiences.

None of this will matter if the consumer does not see your brand as relevant to them and their needs. Imagery and messaging need to be realistic, natural, relevant, and most importantly genuine.

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