Empathy; the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
We saw this word mentioned by Mr Gary Vaynerchuk today as he discussed what aspects of a person are admired in terms of employment. It was a really great article actually, he talks about some personality traits and general hard-working features you have to display to an organisation in order to be an effective team member and such.
One trait he mentioned was empathy and it got us thinking… Not only is it an important feature to display in the work place, but we feel it is something that needs to be expressed in your social media marketing strategy.
Marketing Empathy; It’s Essential!
By using empathy within your marketing strategy, you will be able to interact with your audience at a more personal level. Obviously we don’t mean too much, you can’t just send someone a message saying ‘hi’ everyday; that’s weird. But even just interacting with someone once is a great start.
Interaction shows you are aware of who is in your following, you aren’t afraid to say hello or help them out with a problem, or you could even motivate someone or make them feel happier.
We do not mean shove your products down your audience’s throats! If you spam people with links, you may as well have been telling them to sod off; it will get too much for them and they will lose interest.
Customer service is a BIG part of any organisation. Without it, your whole company’s being will come across as cold-hearted, dull and even ignorant to the world around them. You need to show understanding of your audience’s needs and feelings.
Your Presence Is Importance
Imagine you are interviewing people for a job and you need to call one of the potential candidates for a job offer. You call once, no answer; they’re probably just busy. You call again, no response. Oookay, I’ll try once more (wow, you’re an extremely patient employer btw!).
And you call again, still no response. What do you do? Give up. Don’t bother, if they don’t have the time to respond to you, they obviously don’t care enough for the job.
Now, this general pattern applies to social media customer service and empathy too. If you don’t respond to people, whether that be solving their problems with your service or saying thank you for a compliment, people will think you don’t care enough and may even totally stop using your service/stop following you. NOT GOOD!
Just every now and then, check if someone is talking to you. If it’s a problem, deal with it or refer them to somewhere where help can be given. If it’s a compliment, even a simple favourite will be appreciated! It shows you empathise with your audience; you appreciate their feedback and activeness within the community.
Move Your Audience
There is a great quote we found over at Entrepanuer.com, who also shared their views on marketing empathy.
“Moments create movements.
And movements create startups.”
And we couldn’t agree more. If you can interact with your audience and ‘move’ them, you’re doing a good job and going to get somewhere with your strategy. The article also mentions how you may not actually move anyone, but we feel this is fine.
You will be creating a great aspect of your marketing strategy. As long as you are presenting that you are an organisation that actually ‘feels’ and knows what it’s like to be human, you’ll come across well.
Obviously, don’t ignore your ‘sales’ posts and promoting your company, however rather than constantly pushing sales and only showing interest in gaining money, why don’t you try and show something a little more relatable and empathise with your audience.
Your organisation will come across as a lot more friendly and just generally more approachable, which is great for both existing customers and newcomers. It’s about finding a nice balance between sales-pitching and user compassion.
At the end of the day…
You have to respect your audience and that may mean ‘kneeling down to their level’. Teach your social media marketing team how to approach your customers/users and have them create a compassionate yet professional persona of your organisation. Show your audience that you care, interact with them, support their choice of following and using your brand!
Have you seen any brands who are particularly empathetic? How do you feel about organisations interacting with the community? We’d love to know so drop us a comment in the section below!