by Martin Wiggins, MD
We are all familiar with the increasing use of ‘social media’ in our business lives. Some do it well, others not so, but so much is still at a ‘broadcast level’ – where the company aims to shout as loudly as possible about something that they feel is of merit or interest, with it perhaps not always being ‘connected’ to earlier or upcoming activity.
Whilst the broadcast can often be seen as a ‘success’, there is little to really support the difference that it makes to the way in which the market engages with that brand and changes its attitudes or behaviour as a result.
I don’t mean to be all ‘doom and gloom’ – as I said, some are making the use of social media and thought leadership central to their digital strategies, but perhaps 2019 will provide an opportunity for the ‘broadcast’ to be replaced with something much more ‘personal’ – something that actually talks to the recipient rather than shouts to the market as a whole. We have been working closely with a range of clients, from the large to the small, during the course of last year to refine their thinking and messaging to ensure that when they have something to say, we make it relevant to the audience that it is being sent to and includes information, insight and thought leadership that resonates with them, their sector and their issues – adding value by demonstrating an understanding of those issues.
Personalisation is only going to grow in terms of importance in 2019. Recent research by Debenhams suggested that 1 in 5 trusts a ‘brand ambassador’ but over 90% trust peer to peer recommendations – so the key must be to accelerate the value that this opportunity provides by the quality that our content delivers and therefore the willingness to share. Hitting the monthly and quarterly targets is critical to success, but reaching out with a better understanding of what matters to your customers is equally important – and can certainly help in delivering the immediate results as well as helping to shape a more long-term view of the brand/business.
Technology will of course play a part in this, but I believe that having expertly-placed ‘human intervention’ is the key to delivering something that hits the spot and delivers the insight and value that can make your business stand out. Bombarding people with emails and posts isn’t the answer – instead, shape content in a way that adds something and helps people to be better in the delivery of their roles and how they are positioned within their peer group.
So, the challenges to being ‘better’ aren’t really that great at all – understand your customers and their issues and then talk to them in a language and with content that is of value to them, rather than ‘shouting’ at them about things that are important to you. There might be more of a disconnect that you think.