The more brands become involved with social media, the more they need to start thinking about how they’re going to speak to consumers and what they’re going to say. You can’t simply upload a YouTube video or create a Fan Page and expect something valuable to get started. Brands need to commit to ongoing dialogue, and they need to do something that many aren’t used to—be real.
Brands have the ability to engage with people on a human-to-human level. Marketers have leveraged a variety of ways to engage with their consumers through social media by creating anything from deals and contests to videos and charity partnerships. Each of these has the ability to reinforce a brand’s message, but often these tactics simply don’t.
Why? They forget to be real and consider their brand’s passion, one of the core pieces that they might have in common and be able to discuss with their customers.
Your Brand’s Passion
Who is your brand? What does it care about? What is its inspiration? Successful brands started with an idea sparked by passion. Marketers tend to focus on what a brand is and tell their customers about the product or service offered, which is a great way to speak to them when using mass media. However, social media allows brands to communicate more than product attributes. They can engage consumers with conversations around shared passions.
Using Passion to Define the Topic of Conversation
Your brand’s passion should define the conversation. Talk about what makes you tick, and create a discussion around it. Sharpie created a Facebook Fan Page for discussing creativity. Zappos uses its passion of unparalleled customer service to define the conversation surrounding the brand. BrandWeek recently posted an article about Ace Hardware connecting with customers around the shared passion of simplicity. The brands successfully using social media understand what their passion is by being able to answer some important questions:
- Why do our customers choose us over our competitors?
- What do we do that our competitors don’t?
- Why were we created and why do we exist today?
Deals, contests and other tactics can be used to help in communicating that passion, but they shouldn’t be solely relied upon, just reinforce.
A successful business begins with an idea sparked by passion. What was your spark? Tell your customers about it and start a conversation.