The Heart is a Critically Important Muscle in Social Marketing
by Nathaniel Hansen
The socializing of media and tech is a bid by the human heart to transform the cold, hard, and un-feeling processes of “bottom-line, quantitative” thought INTO a tool for saving all that is beautiful about this planet, the human spirit and our beautiful flora/fauna. The season of the heart has arrived AND, because our tech was born from the imagination, it MUST serve that same SOURCE. Here are some steps you can take to HUMANIZE your entrance into the social fabric of the internet:
1. Discover communities closest to your heart through the use of free monitoring tools. To do this make a list of 40 keywords/keyphrases that match your heart/passion/goals. Then go to this page and find the FASTEST climbing Facebook pages associated with those keyphrases: http://bit.ly/facebook_leaderboard. “Like” these.
2. Observe the choices, challenges, impressions, and wants of the people within these Facebook pages AND other networks Most of the monitoring tools available to do this observing are listed at this wiki: http://bit.ly/social_monitoring_master_list.
3. The monitoring tools in the wiki above will acquaint you with where THE conversation about your passion is taking place in forums, blogs, amongst key influencers (tweeters and bloggers), major communities (blogs, forums, web properties) and discussion eco-systems (comments at blogs, news sites, forums). Prioritize your participation based not only on volume of those in the conversation BUT also the quality of those discussing. You may participate in a conversation with 10 world leaders in a vertical/niche and go further than you would have in the mosh-pit of a forum. Then again, that same mosh-pit may be just the place for vitalizing your type of content. This takes wisdom, 24 hours of reflection and then ACTION.
4. Closely tied to this, determine which communities and influencers most closely mirror your passion. Locate your initial foray THERE.
5. Raise up brand ambassadors, community managers and, if you are an enterprise-level business, study the exploding phenomenon of Chief Customer Officers: http://bit.ly/CCO_Harvard_report
6. Your Community Manager, Brand Ambassadors and Chief Customer Officer ought to be a blended individual, having social savvy AND passion/real experience within your vertical/niche/brand.
7. Create a BRAND BOOKLET and BEST PRACTICE MANUAL with and for your social brand leader. They ought to be the kind of person who is excited about creating this with you and have leadership traits related to the creation of this booklet.
8. Perform an analysis of the sub-culture(s) surrounding your brand and be sure to not only speak the language of these cultures but also be an innovator of that language. Your brand is more than an avatar. It is a living, breathing personality and your ambassador(s) should give his/her all for the tribe that feeds the brand.
9. Lex Sisney, the co-founder of Commission Junction, the world’s foundational affiliate software, once said to me, “Find the pain and you’ll find the money!” Knowing where lack exists IS VERY IMPORTANT in defining your offering. And knowing what makes the delivery and receiving of this offering fun is the other piece in this puzzle.
10. The humanization of brands is a massive revolution currently taking place. The CEO OF THE FUTURE is at the forefront with the customer, tweeting, blogging and on the front lines vs. the old model of being invisible and un-touchable. The CEO of the future may be reached by anyone and is listening to his/her customer. Anyone can reach the CEO of the future. The hidden CEO is a relic of the past.
11. Conversations with your audience and customer are just that. A dialogue implies that you’ve listened to what the customer is saying. And they will find that cool.
12. Your ambassadors ought to be given rewards that make sense to the niche and the need of your community and your customer. Sometimes a year’s worth of groceries is more important than a new 120″ HDTV.
13. Be a problem solver vs. just a listener. That’s the essence and one of the good things about America: we are known the world over for doing something about it once we are enrolled.
Love what you do, love your tribe, and orient around heart-centered communication.