Instead of browsing physical aisles or asking friends for product recommendations, today's connected consumers are searching online before patronizing an organization.
“I Googled You”
Enjoying a well smoked ham hock at charity dinner, I was leisurely engaged in “chitchat” with fellow professionals seated at the table. Meeting many of the attendees for the first time, I was prompting conversation with the traditional line-up of polite inquisition:
Mid circle, one of my quiet dinner mates looked up from his phone and announced, “I just googled you!”
“Hey, check this out – she’s from Memphis, wrote a bunch of stuff, teaches college, and has, like, a ton of Twitter followers!” he informed our fellow attendees.
“Yes, but, I…”
“Oh, and check this out – look at these blog comments! Looks like things got a little hairy…”
The rest of the evening progressed with my new colleagues openly “snooping” on my business’ social profiles and reporting their “findings” to the group. No one asked me any more questions. No one engaged in any more small talk. The tides had turned and it was all “Oh – send me that link!” and “Hey – moms in Minnesota read your book?”
Welcome to our “connected” world.
What Does YOUR Online Presence Say About You?
Did you notice how I didn’t ask, “What does your Facebook page say about you?”…
We all have an online presence; regardless of whether or not we put it out there.
Facebook automatically generates business pages based on online searches.
Small business reviews – such as Google, Yelp, and Yellow Pages – are available for consumers to broadcast their experiences (or rank feelings) about your entity to the entire world.
Images of your business, your products, and your team members are circling the interweb, oft times without one’s consent (or knowledge).
Participating in the Share Society of our Connected Age isn’t really a choice; it’s a reality.
When your organization’s digital content complements your brand - kudos!
When it slams everything your company stands for – uh oh!
The objective behind every organization’s digital strategy should be to maximize their digital impact by taking control of their online messaging and supporting the brand with the assistance of social media.
What does this type of Connected Age strategy look like? Find out:
A non-customized website template engrossed in corporate copy coupled with the cat video saturated Facebook feed your latest college intern pilots don’t exactly spell “streamlined”. While social media can provide organizations an opportunity to be more transparent and “real”, unsynchronized messaging across the digital space can leave consumers feeling a little, uh, confused. Keeping your target market in mind, strive to streamline your online messaging across all platforms.
Facebook just doesn’t cut it anymore.
It takes a multi-platform presence to make a 21st century brand a social star.
Consider your target market – what platforms are they on? If you’re targeting young professionals, explore Twitter & Instagram options. If Gen X moms are more your market, consider a revitalized blog + Pinterest promo. Commit to a multi-platform social strategy to ensure your brand is successful at “cutting through the noise” of the world wide web.
What’s your brand stand for?
Increasing sales at all costs or making the world a better place?
Connected Age consumers are digging deep to unearth patronized brand’s guiding principles, and are dedicated to putting their money where their heart is. Strategize ways to communicate your company’s mission across all digital platforms – social media, blogs, website, branding, etc. Don’t make today’s consumer hunt for it – integrate your organizational mission into your daily communication’s strategy and reap the benefits of being a double bottom line company.
Welcome to the Connected Age - a era where social sharing and constant "connectivity" dominate communications.
A well executed digital strategy is more important now than ever. Your consumers are "connected" online, and engage in digitally-based relationships with brands they love.
Follow these three marketing tips for connecting with today's connected consumers and reap the benefits of strong relationships with your target audience.
Hannah Becker is a millennial author, entrepreneur, and marketing consultant. She currently helps brands increase millennial market share through digital strategy and public relations. Follow Hannah on Twitter@MotivatedGenY