By Charlotte Nichols, Harvey & Hugo.
It’s essential for businesses to build relationships with clients, and it can take years to build a strong connection. When people think of companies forming bonds with customers, they’ll often think of person-to-person contact, chatting over the phone, or via email – and it is important to have that in place.
Customers tend to buy from a person, not a company, so if you build a good rapport there’s a higher chance the customer will become loyal. This can lead to word-of-mouth promotion and in turn generate sales.
But there’s also another way of doing this… Consumer PR is a great way of building a connection with your audience. The communication takes place through media channels such as Twitter and Instagram and with the right strategy in place, both small and large businesses can reach their customers on a bigger scale.
What’s your message?
When it comes to consumer PR, you need to make sure your brand is lovable. Your customers don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it – so make sure your business markets a great brand narrative. It’s important to think of a message that will resonate with your audience and engage their emotions to help sell your brand.
Knowing the audience
The next thing is understanding who you want to build relationships with and how to reach them. This is when creating a PR strategy comes in handy. The plan can outline questions such as: What platform does your audience use? What are they most likely to engage with? Or what tone does your company want to use to engage with your audience?
Building a community
This is where things get fun. Brands can deliver their message through a range of channels including social media, influencer engagement, and events.
The most important thing is to create engaging content, knowing what your audience wants to see and hear, and encouraging your followers to share your content. After you’ve established this it’s time to get creative – the aim here is to allow your target market to do your marketing for you, sharing information they want to show their friends through their own pages – it’s essentially free advertising.
Sharing informative, interactive posts that are retweeted or reposted will in turn build your following and allow your brand to create more relationships, you may even be seen as an influencer within your industry or area. This turns into a community where like-minded people can engage and enjoy each other’s content, and of course, build alliances.
Getting the content right
A mistake brands often make is hard selling on their social media, it doesn’t work and doesn’t spark interest. Nobody signs up to receive spam emails or junk mail that forcefully sell products, so why would people choose to follow social accounts that do the same?
Soft sales content is a much more valuable approach as it focuses on building and nurturing relationships with your audience and generating trust.
Customers are more likely to engage with video or animation, as it captures their imagination and emotion. People love to see who’s behind the account, from office tours, vlogs, and behind the scenes snapshots into working life, it really injects your brand with personality, giving it that lovable touch that forms an online bond with customers.
When clients start to understand the personality of a brand, they’ll want to engage, and a fun way of doing this is through polls and questions, which Instagram has even created features specifically to facilitate. It’s a great way for consumers to get you to know you and feel like they are a part of your community through expressing their own opinions and knowing they’ll be heard.
According to clutch 72% of people are likely to recommend a company to others if they have a positive social media experience with that business, so taking advantage of the open communication social media offers could be the thing that helps generate sales.
At Harvey & Hugo, we love to show our brand personality and are always thinking of ways we can create strong relationships with our customers and help them to do the same. We want our clients to see not only our brand personality but our employee’s personality. We have done this using emojis, vlogs, lots of Instagram polls, hopping onto bake-off trends, and asking our following random questions. We love to create fun content and engage with our audience members; to strengthen our online community and friendships with like-minded people.