It’s the end of a long day. You just poured yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and dimmed the lights. You settle into your favorite chair, smartphone in hand, ready to have an intimate moment with…your favorite brand.
That’s right. Your favorite brand just got personal.
Yet it can be difficult for marketers to form a strong emotional relationship with consumers in today’s tech-saturated world. So, how can you be sure both your brand and your consumer get the love they deserve? You can practice the classic concept of one-on-one marketing.
One-on-one marketing utilizes tools like social media to personally interact with individual consumers to strengthen the brand/consumer relationship.
Certain social media platforms are perfect for directly interacting with consumers with ease (surprise: Facebook is not one of them).
The 4 Social Media Platforms that Encourage One-on-One Marketing
Brand loyalty stems from personal attachment, and what better way to nurture that bond than through putting a face to your brand and interacting with individual consumers? One-on-one marketing involves directly marketing to one individual. This can be difficult to do in the social media world, but four particular platforms can help you have some fun interacting with consumers.
Twitter is by far the easiest way to directly interact with a consumer. You have a few different ways to touch base with your consumer: you can tweet directly at him, or send a direct message. You can retweet a clever tweet from a follower and show her that you're interested in what she has to say. Twitter is great for building customer rapport—the more love you show, the more love you get.
Think about Twitter from a consumer perspective to understand the impact brand interaction can have on an individual. Say, for example, you are a huge fan of Oreos (who isn't?). You tweet about how pumped you are to open a fresh pack of 'Double Stufs,' and Oreo tweets back to you that the 'Double Stuf' variety is their favorite as well. You'd be pretty excited, right? You're basically an Oreo VIP. Oreo knows that you like their brand, and you know that someone at Oreo enjoys the same cookie as you.
As a marketer, not only is it great that somebody loves your brand, but you just converted that fan into a brand loyalist, if they weren't before. As a consumer, it's pretty cool to know that your favorite brand knows you like them. You'll most likely continue to support that brand because you know that they care about you as an individual.
Instagram is a great way to put a personal touch on a brand through shared photos and videos. Like with Twitter, you have some different options for interacting with consumers. At the most basic level, you can like or comment on a user’s post. You can personalize the experience even more by posting a photo or video targeted at a particular user; Instagram’s new tagging feature is a great tool for targeting users.
You can even “re-gram” (RG) a user’s photo—just make sure to get their permission before blasting it to thousands of followers. Chances are, the user will be flattered that you're taking an interest in their posts and will love you for the publicity boost.
Instagram marketing is particularly effective for brands that sell tangible products. You can encourage users to post photos or tags about your product, thus generating content and publicity for your brand. "Liking" or "re-gramming" the posts about your brand shows users that you care that they are using your product. Essentially, you are conveying your appreciation for their brand loyalty. Like with the Twitter/Oreo example, showing some love to consumers encourages even more social media posts which can have an exponential effect on brand exposure.
Contrary to popular belief, Snapchat can be used for more than sending naughty pictures. Technically subscription-based, users can choose to add your account as who they can send and receive photos and videos to/from. Sending personalized photos and videos directly to a consumer is a great way to build a relationship with him or her.
When using Snapchat, you can choose to send a "snap" to one person or many people. Since the media will only show for 10 seconds or less, viewers will be sure to pay close attention to whatever you send.
Subscription-based social networks like Snapchat are a good gauge of consumer interest because consumers willingly choose to subscribe to/follow your brand. However, that means that you need to work hard to create content that consumers want to subscribe to. The challenge with Snapchat is to create content that can be both fun and impactful. If you can find that balance, then sending a “snap” is a good way to have fun with your brand and your consumer.
Vine is similar to Instagram in terms of consumer interaction, but has a time limit on content like with Snapchat. Again, you can target individual followers with your video messages. You also get another opportunity to practice the classic marketing adage of KISS: keep it short and simple. The great thing about Vine, compared to Snapchat, is that, while your video may be short, it will not disappear in 10 seconds, so it has the potential for extended reach.
While each of these social media platforms function differently, they all offer basic interaction principles that can be utilized for personalized, one-on-one marketing. You can create a strong customer relationship through targeting messages/videos/photos at individual followers as well as commenting and interacting with customers on their posts.
The Happily-Ever-After to the Consumer/Brand Love Story
Whether your social media following is small or large, you will have many opportunities to practice one-on-one marketing with consumers. One-on-one marketing has actually been around for years, since the days of neighborhood small businesses when the owner would take the time to greet each customer. While the platform for this type of marketing has changed, the principles have not.
With the tech-heavy world of communication and social media, one thing that consumers value is humanization. One-on-one marketing is your opportunity to give your brand a personal feel that consumers love.
Have some fun and experiment with one-on-one marketing, especially with your brand's social media following. If a consumer is already following you on any of these networks, they obviously already have some love for your brand.
So take some time to get personal with your posts and show your consumers that you love them, too.