Push, push, push marketing – that’s what we’ve been doing for a century or so. Pushing corporate messages into the faces of our target audience through as many different means as possible. What the 21st century and the digital age is showing us, however, is that when it comes to consumers making their minds up, pull marketing is stronger than push marketing.
Pull marketing? Well, more like guiding, really. The two-way relationships we can build over social media mean the consumer can make active decisions over which brands they listen to and engage with. Remember, consumers now have more options than ever – we have the internet! No more are consumers held to a select few products or service providers and they can now read hundreds of reviews online about everything. Giving someone a push and telling them to “buy my product” is simply losing its touch.
Brands must now resonate with their audience and make a connection on an emotional level – building a relationship.
Not every brand will suit the cool and trendy vibe you might see of an established sports brand online, for example, but you don’t need to be the coolest kid on the block.
Whatever your brand, there should be no hard sell. You need to portray yourself as the expert in your industry and give your brand a personality. You need to show you have your consumers’ best interests at heart. There’s nothing worse than push social media marketing in the 21st century – make sure you guide people and let them make their own choices.
Push marketing: it’s just not social media
…and it’s not effective.
Put simply, social media for business is all about making your brand as friendly and engaging as possible so you are welcomed into the personal sphere of your target audience. I.e. it’s about the PULL; not the push. Remember that the key to effective social media marketing is eliciting a positive reaction to your content and interactions online. Obviously, this is unlikely to be the case if your brand is simply pushing out corporate messages.
No one wants to be ‘spoken at’ on social media!
This is even more important amongst younger generations; millennials and Generation Z. These generations have grown up with on demand services and being able to pick and choose whom they engage with online. This is not the generation of mass marketing, TV ads, and billboards; it’s the generation of personalisation and the influencer.
Your brand really needs to be the cool kid on the block – no need for the attention-seeking behavior akin to push social media marketing, you’re cool by association. The way to do this is through consistently value-adding social media content making your brand fit perfectly into the homes and living rooms of your target consumer or collaborator.
It’s incredibly important to instill a ‘pull’ type mentality rather than ‘push’. Especially if the client or you line manager is demanding instant ROI from everything you post!
Be cool and interesting, and people will follow. Be interested in them and their conversations and people will follow. Be in people’s faces and push your brand into them, trying to sell, and you will drive them away. Ultimately, push social media simply doesn’t work and it’s been tried and tested by hundreds of brand across all sectors. We know big brands can get away with it, to an extent, but they still miss out on swathes of potential customers through lack of listening and engaging.
As a small to medium-size business, one without a national presence or cult following, you simply must be cleverer with your social strategy. Be concise and use social media for what it’s really for – building relationships on a personal level and creating a human, transparent facet of your brand.
Remember to check out our Twitter training to help you with all that pulling not pushing!