It is no secret that social media allows individuals and businesses immediate access to research and to make informed decisions about the types of organisations and influencers they wish to engage or associate with. This post is the first in a series that begins to explore how social media psychology plays a vital role in the ever changing sales and marketing landscape.
So where do we begin? The truth is the more you understand about your target audience and their day to day challenges, the easier it becomes to identify what they really want! This is where psychology can help improve results when using social media for business. Having established that your business offering is truely viable, the process of defining your ‘buyer personas’, can begin. This will set you on the road to capturing the attention and dancing with the mindset of your target market.
What are ‘buyer personas’ anyway?
‘Buyer personas’ are semi-fictional profiles of your dream customers and defining them well will help you get closer to the thoughts and minds of those you seek to attract. You may have several types of audience groups to consider so the smart option is to focus on those that align with your core revenue streams. Your goal should be to create and use social media to share inspirational content that provides answers to the core business challenges of your ‘buyer personas’. Over time this will help entice the right kind of visitors to your website and opportunities to further develop positive psychological connections with those key decision makers and influencers.
As part of your marketing plan, it is essential to define your personas or audience profiles. Your profile should include the following:
- Demographics – Where can your target audience be found?
- Values – What are the core values of your target audience?
- Challenges – What are the key challenges of your target audience?
- Solution – How can you solve those challenges?
- Evolution – What are the current perceptions of your company, product or service?
- Inhibitors – What are the common objections about your industry, product or service?
The psychology behind building customer loyalty and brand affinity:
Human nature inspires us to help others as it gives us a great sense of personal reward and accomplishment… Yes, of course there are a lot of genuinely helpful people in the world who don’t expect rewards for their kindness, however there needs to be a balance in order to make good business sense.
Less scrupulous perceptions may liken this kindness to helping an old lady cross the road then charging her for the privilege on the other side!
Social psychology plays a critical part in projecting your business as a trusted source for information. Creating a content and social sharing culture within your team that nurtures the key decision makers in your repective niche target markets will help take your business to higher ground. Nurturing involves sharing the right content at the right time to the right persona types in your target market. By providing valued opinion and a respected resource, you will increase your chances of winning new business of higher value further down the line.
Visitors may be attracted by your compelling social tweet for example but it is important to have content of value beyond this. Experiment! Divert spend on some of your traditional marketing channels and think of your new buyer persona oriented content as ‘virtual currency’ that you can capitalise on at a later date!
Think about how you can add value to your respective audience communities – all businesses rely on information from trusted sources in order to maintain integrity. Helping is the new selling! Provide useful and relevant insight that will create a positive emotional response and an affinity with your brand and share the love!
Ensure that your super fresh content is widely shared and across relevant social channels to market. People are far more trusting when they see that certain content has been shared or endorsed by others. Content sharing not only attracts new business, but raises the profile of your business as a trusted source.
Enhance your appeal to the inner psyche of your audience by using eye catching titles and thought provoking imagery to reflect your message. This will be far more memorable, captivate your visitors and help you stand out in the social crowd!
The use of emotive words and statistics to add substance to your communications will promote feelings of security and confidence in your business. The image you present online must always be positive and seek to empower your current customers, and attract new business.
In summary, social media facilitates personal expression, a platform to engage some important common desires: the need to feel happiness, the need to feel part of a community and the need to be reassured that our contributions are valued and respected by those in our respective markets. Communicating this in a genuine and trustworthy manner will allow you to give customers exactly what they want, and have a positive influence on your bottom line!
Look out for our follow up article series on Social Media Psychology for Business!
Tony Hillon February 25, 2016 Login to reply
If you are looking to engage effectively with your target market through social media I’d love to talk to you!