Building An Emotional Connection with Social Media
In part 1, we looked at how social media can be used as a tool to build a relationship with customers. A relationship helps cement the trust consumers have with your brand, and help stave away price competition. Social media can be used to humanize a faceless corporation, create groundswell support for risky decisions and correct a negative image.
The pinnacle of a solid brand strategy is to extend an emotional connection to consumers. Functional and rational benefits are good, but these are the points of parity – what you need to fulfill to be on par with competitors in the first place. For instance, a car needs to be able to transport from point A to point B and a detergent needs to be able to clean clothes.
Very often, we choose a certain brand of product of service not only for its functional benefits but for its emotional values. We choose a certain brand because of what it means to us or that we resonate with its values. It is this emotional connection that makes our brand different from competitors and makes it relevant to the consumer. Your product can have all the bells and whistles your consumer will ever want, but if it is not relevant to your consumer, your product is easily replaceable. But when your consumer inks your brand on their body, it’s a sure sign that your brand is an important part of their life.
So how do you create that emotional connection that makes your product relevant to your consumer and help build your brand? Because of its inherent sharing and interactive nature, social media can be used to better engage with your consumers.
Social media role #2:
Remarkable and unmistakable brands differentiate through an emotional connection
With low-consideration products like dishwasher or deodorant, social media can be used to promote the unique emotional benefits that differentiates the brand and hold off price erosions. Brands can:
- Bring the emotional benefit to life. Because of its social nature, social media can engage customers emotionally beyond paid and owned media. Stabilo Malaysia understood its target market are nervous about school examinations and want to be well prepared. The ‘All the Best’ campaign extends our culture of sending best wishes to those you care and encourage them to study hard. Students and parents could send a Stabilo Exam Kit to someone that they care through social media. All allocated kits were redeemed within a day of the announcement on social media and the brand even increased the number of Exam Kits available for redemption for the last phase of the campaign.
- Engage around a shared cause. method is a brand of household and personal cleaning products that is passionate about both form and function. The products look great and smell great, plus is planet friendly. method uses online videos to get its message of ‘clean happy’. Their videos are all about products that are good for your house and skin can also be good for the planet. This niche brand does not have the big pockets of the typical detergent brands, yet it holds its own with a fierce loyal following of brand advocates. method gives its loyal consumers a marketing voice, and uses social media to drive consumer engagement for great looking, great smelling and nontoxic cleaning products.
- Bond your brand to your consumer’s life. Pregnancy and motherhood is a special phase in women’s life and the journey is both complex and rewarding. Dumex created a motherhood community to share experiences and ask questions, utilizing a panel of experts and experienced mothers. The brand website is designed with the mother’s needs in mind, not the products. The Dumex Mama Club on Facebook is going strong and all this leverages on its brand positioning as the nutritional expert. The brand also seeds articles on local motherhood websites and has videos to express a mother’s love for her child by giving the best nutrition to the child.
Are you able to differentiate your brand by making an emotional connection to your consumers? Has social media helped you be more relevant to your audience?
There’s one more strategy for social media to be an essential tool in your brand building arsenal. More about this in part 3.
[disclaimer: method Malaysia is a Brand360 client]
Julia Koh is the Executive Director of Brand 360 Degree Sdn Bhd and is emotionally tied to the brands that help her save time, money and her sanity.