Where do brands have to start to be able to connect with consumers in social media times? For brands, this is one of the most complex and most complicated points of their relationship with consumers in the times of social networks, since they have nothing clear how they should behave and what they should do in this environment.
It may seem that, since we have been talking about the issue for years and since social networks have also been present for years in the lives of consumers and brands, things are much clearer than they were at the beginning, when brands They were absolutely confused about what they should do and when they were especially worried about what they played and what not in terms of connecting with consumers in this scenario. In a way, this has happened. Companies dominate much more (and much better) the universe of social networks although, despite this, they still need to learn many things and internalize many concepts and elements.
One of the ways that can work to connect more with consumers and, above all, understand a little better what they expect from companies in this new environment may be to visualize that relationship as a relationship of friendship. That is, brands have to listen to consumers on social networks as they would listen to a friend giving advice and opinions. That is the advice from which they start in the latest Simply Measured recommendation. We listen to friends, they remind us, in an organic way, because we are interested in what they want to tell us and because we want to listen to them. The same should happen on social networks, where however this does not happen. Brands launch their content in bulk and forget about others. They are like that acquaintance who is always telling their problems but never stops to listen to what others have.
Therefore, if you want to create a value relationship, brands have to build their relationship with consumers very well and they have to borrow many more elements of friendly relationships. As they point out in the analysis, there are five key points on which they have to work.
One of the most important elements in which the brand has to work (and that ultimately work naturally in friendship) is to create empathy. Brands need to be able to identify with their consumers and take on their concerns and their happy moments. It is not about appropriating them, but rather about being able to understand the state of things at all times and react on that basis. Creating these dynamics solidly helps to improve the positions of the brand, because it makes it perfectly known what to do at all times.
Know the story and share it
Friendship relationships not only imply trust and empathy, they are actually based on a joint story. That is, one knows his friends not only in the present moment, but also knows what has been the path that has taken them there. As they point out in the Simply Measured analysis, we have not only lived together with our friends things, but we have also heard the same stories from them millions of times. Something similar has to happen with consumers. You need to have that joint story and above all know them in a way that goes beyond the specific moment. It is necessary to have a history of information, since it will not only help prevent what is going to happen but will create a solid base on which to move.
You have to have a common language
Not only does it happen with our friends, but it actually happens in the communities. It happens in the office or it happens when it is part of the community that follows a series. There are ‘internal jokes’ and references that only those involved understand. You have a common language and references that mean things. Brands have to be able to reach that same level with their consumers and they need to create the same reality with them. Achieving it implies a powerful level of community and knowledge.
Discover the priorities
Or what is the same: follow the same path as friendships in evolution. When you are a child, you become friends with anyone. When it grows, friendships are more interested. You make friends with those who interest you for one reason or another. An order of priorities is created that marks the relationships. And this is something that brands have to understand. They have to understand what the order of priorities of consumers is and the role they play in that scenario. Starting from that, the brand has to act in one way or another.
And don’t fear the deep
In friendship relationships, we talk about inconsequential things, but also many times about very deep and complex things, which is where ‘the important thing’ is played. Brands will not talk to consumers of many of those things, but they should not fear touching those swampy grounds. They should not keep the surface, with the banal, and they have to go a little further. Only then will they really know their consumers.