Social media marketing is a digital trade, yes. But, is the success of your brand’s social media presence defined by digital efforts only? Absolutely not! Here’s why, and how, you can capitalize in your online efforts through offline culture.
Putting The “Social” In “Social Media”
What would social networking look like if we never left our inner circle, or office? Sure, we might connect with people through relevant hashtags, and maybe even through online community groups. But, our efforts certainly wouldn’t be maximized. Why? Successful social media marketing is fueled best by social interaction, offline. Never underestimate the power of face-time (not the smartphone version), and good old word of mouth marketing.
Belonging Is Necessary
We can all agree that marketing has always been directly linked to psychology. Right? Really, the only difference between psychology and marketing is that one focuses on human behavior, while the other focuses on human buying behavior. In the early 1900s, psychologist, Abraham Maslow unveiled a pyramid of five human needs, which must be met for ultimate success. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a sense of belonging is necessary for humans to be motivated. In the same vein, there is a direct link between belonging and being social. Giving customers [and potential customers] a physical sense of belonging yields motivation to return to your brand, and more importantly, it makes them proud enough of their relationship with your brand, to want to tell their friends about it. This cannot be achieved by online efforts alone.
Ideas For Offline Social Efforts
First off, we have to get out of an office setting; more so, we need to get into a social setting. The answers to your offline efforts are exactly that: offline. Depending on each brand’s industry, find a social space where your customers and/or peer are likely to gather or hang out. Then, the sky’s the limit:
- Talk to people! The key here is to ask a lot of questions, and be a great listener. Eventually, the tables will turn, and you’ll have the opportunity to talk about your brand, and how you help customers. This will usually lead to your new connection asking, “do you have a card?”
- Host an event! Depending on your industry, figure out a way to bring people together, in person. Planning is crucial for this one, so don’t “just wing it.” If all goes well, make the social event a annual or bi-annual happening; this will give customers a sense of belonging and something to look forward to, once or twice a year.
- Join local community groups! Whether it’s your local chamber, or a industry-specific group of professionals, getting out and talking to people in those communities will yield more brand awareness, and possibly, new customers.
- Partner with other businesses! As our name indicates, we’re big believers in collaboration. Try piloting a co-op marketing event with one or two other businesses. Again, you’ll be reaching a valuable audience you might not have face-time with otherwise.
REMEMBER to point people to your online efforts! With all of the above ideas, don’t forget to tell people that you’re available online. Have cards made with your social channel information, so people can easily find you. After your offline interaction, sending them to your social channels will keep the conversation going.