How To Repair the Social Media Disconnect Between Brands and Consumers

Look at your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. news feed.   Does it increasingly feel like you’re sitting in multiple rooms with hundreds, if not thousands, of people yelling at you to read their update, click their link, or play their video?  The content that you want to read and engage with is usually mixed in spam and unrelated content – often from the same brand or person.

Brands have many challenges to overcome when it comes to social media.   They first must convince you to visit, like or follow them and then must deliver a steady stream of valuable content.    Socially irrelevant content will most likely result in either a brand’s content being ignored or unliked.   At worst, that investment in social media could result in damage to a brand or even a lost customer.

The simple answer to this challenge is segmentation and targeting – a concept which is far from new for marketers.   While blasting the same content in a “one size fits all” approach may be easier for brands, consumers have always preferred to receive information which has been customized and targeted for them – or at least applicable.

For market segmentation to be successful, these segments must be:

–    Measurable
–    Unique in how members view and react to the messaging and marketing mix
–    Durable & consistent in terms of the definition of its members
–    Substantial enough to be profitable
–    Accessible by communications and distribution channels

This last point in particular has been perhaps the most common excuse for brands to not leverage social with the same level of segmentation and relevance as their other marketing channels: the lack of a real solution to effectively separate out, deliver, and measure market segments across all of the social mediums.   Because of this challenge, most brands have defaulted to a single social media page, account, or news feed – even though all of the lessons learned from other marketing channels have taught them differently.

However, technology is changing and new solutions like MessageMaker Social now make it possible to build valuable social media market segments to talk to consumers at a much more “one to one” level.  These platforms enable brands to:

–    Go beyond a global/corporate approach to deliver location specific content and local engagement.
–    Leverage employees and sales teams to use social media as a tool to create stronger relationships while still adhering to company branding guidelines.
–    Build customer specific social media profiles to deliver product or brand specific content.

A “one size fits all” approach may be easier to manage and seem to be working.   However, failure to ensure content is rising above the noise may be a costly oversight that could be creating a major disconnect between brands and their customers.   Innovative companies have an opportunity to leap frog their competition if they’re willing to invest in segmentation and delivering what their customers want.

For more information, check out One To One Global’s white paper, “How Customers Really Want To Engage With You In Social Media”.

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