April 23rd, 2012
by Jennie Jacobs
We are connecting. Right now. You and me.
The internet, this blog, interesting information, social media. Maybe you will follow me on Twitter now. And I, you. And maybe you will comment below and I’ll respond. And this connection will continue.
I am not trying to sound esoteric or arcane. I’m trying to get a point across. The point being, the internet is connecting people on a massive scale never before seen.
And quite frankly, this is great news for businesses, like you.
My colleague, Lorrie Thomas Ross, CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, was recently at Missouri State University as a Plenary speaker for their Public Affairs Conference on the Culture of Connectivity. Listening to her fine tune the topics for her speeches and looking at all of the collateral for the conference really got me thinking about the idea behind Connectivity.
As a global community we are redefining how we connect and what it means to us all. Essentially, the culture of information exchanges is changing and this is big. It is a paradigm shift in the way we communicate, exchange information, learn, connect, speak, create and on and on. The best we can do is to embrace all of these changes (hold on folks!) because this train isn’t stopping.
What does this mean for marketing?
The future is unknown (unless you have a magical time machine you would like to tell me about) but one thing is certain is that now, more than ever you can foster a real sense of connection and communication with your audience/clients/customers/target market. Marketing is about maximizing relationships (not just about selling a product). So here are a few tips to get you maximizing relationships with your people whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or in e-mails and blog comments.
Tips On Maximizing Your Online Relationships
- Listen! Pay attention to the buzz. Read the questions, comments and interactions people are having with your organization.
- Engage and Respond! Comment back, answer questions, pose questions, share new things and become involved in the community revolving in and around your market. People appreciate being heard and responded too (I know I do! Ever Tweet an answer a person direct question on Twitter to never receive a reply. It’s a bummer.)
- Stay Relevant! By paying attention to what people are responding to you can better tailor your content to work for you. If people love your how to videos, your pictures or your blog posts on fave products then keep ‘em coming! Explore the types of things your fans are following, see what they are sharing and stay up to speed with your market (marketing research anyone?). It’s fun to see what is going on, but you can also learn a lot from it.
You can check out my tips on connecting in a fun little video blog below:
On that note, I thought I would share with you all an interesting fellow/website/community I found online during my random perusing:
Ze Frank is American online performance artist, composer, humorist and public speaker based in Los Angeles, California (according to Wikipedia). And I find his videos, websites and Ted talks to be utterly entertaining, smart and amusing.
So what does this have to do with connecting?
Watch his TED talk and you will totally see what I mean:
But for those of you who are at work and will be beaten with the non-productivity stick for watching TED talks in the middle of the day, I’ll summarize:
Ze Franks website is a connection hub! He is constantly asking visitors to participate in fun and creative topics as a community. Below are some great examples:
Life Lessons Ze posted a silly widget outlining some fabulous life lessons, scroll down to read the list sent by visitors. With this many life lessons we would never screw anything up!
Fraility:Collaboratively Written And Illustrated Poems : Nothing beats the creativity and humor surrounding a project like this (remember the game telephone in school)! Click on each line of the poem to see a custom made illustration.
Young Me / Now Me: In one of Ze’s latest projects he asks people to restage an old photo of themselves from the past. While the project is simply amusing just to look at, it is an interesting experiment in connecting with our past.
The end result of these types of interactions can be rewarding for many people involved, whether a participant or a visitor to the site. The “new” way of connection has the same desired effect as the “old” way of connection – relationships with others to create a nourishing experience that resonates with the human psyche!
So what are you waiting for! Connect!