By Erin Hardy
Having a solid social media strategy and plan is no longer an addition to traditional marketing methods. Major brands like Microsoft understand that social media is a core component of any marketing campaign. Miri Rodriguez—Microsoft’s Delivery Development Lead in Social Media and Communities—sees every shift in what audiences want from brands, and today, they want substance when they connect. When Miri speaks at the AMA Tampa Bay’s Keynote Luncheon on January 26, she’ll share how Microsoft uses social media to tell the right stories that build true brand loyalty.
Trusting Other Customers More Than Celebrities
While brands still use celebrities for influence marketing, celebrities do not necessarily have the marketing power they once had. Customers—especially Millenials and Generation Z—are not as swayed by celebrities as they are by each other. “People want to hear from real customers,” Miri said. “Stories from real customers are much more compelling than celebrity endorsements.”
Customer reviews have always been influential, so the shift from people being influenced more by their peers than they are by Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be surprising. But this shift goes beyond looking for the product that other customers like, or find the most valuable. It’s about the stories that go with them.
Build Brand Loyalty with Inspiring Stories
Regardless of whether they are using Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, today’s customers want compelling and inspiring stories about the products they buy. However, Miri stressed that it’s not all about a brand’s products. “It’s about what your brand is doing for others,” she noted.
Customers today are staying loyal to brands they feel are doing something good. Using charitable works in marketing is nothing new, it’s just more important than ever. Brands that are doing “good things” are winning in today’s market because customers want to support brands that help others. For example, Coca-Cola® and Subaru are telling their inspiring stories across all marketing channels. Small brands can do the same thing, but on a different scale and with the channels that best fit their audience.
If Customers Don’t Feel Connected, You Will Lose Them
In a nutshell, it’s all about connecting with customers by telling the right stories. “Now, it’s easy for a company’s CEO to send a short video message using Facebook Live or Snapchat,” Miri added. A short video message can break down the barriers by letting customers take a peek behind the curtain to tell more of the brand’s story. Today’s customer needs and expects that connection.
Additionally, brands can use video to live-stream special events, and to bring a more human element consumer support. A sympathetic face helping customers understand a complicated product feature or answering customer questions can turn a casual customer into a customer for life.
Get the Rest of This Social Media Story on January 26
Miri has much more to say about how to use stories to connect with your customers when she speaks at AMA Tampa Bay’s Keynote Luncheon on January 26. Don’t miss what she has to say about how Microsoft and other brands are using social media to win and keep loyal customers.
Erin Hardy has been a writer and content specialist for more than 20 years, creating messaging for multi-billion dollar corporations like the HSN and Eckerd Corporation to boutique ad agencies and start-ups. Today, as Well Planned Web’s Editorial Lead, Erin transforms complex topics into meaningful content that resonates with clients’ customers.