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Social media and the age of the individual

Remember how the internet was going to be a world of highly targeted advertising and messaging, picking up on past consumer behaviour and everyday habits and activities to offer exactly what we wanted?

We’re not quite there yet and no statistic illustrates this better than the fact people in the APEC region click on an average of just six social media ads a month. For all the volume of social media use and the proliferation of advertising, our engagement remains very limited.

The reality is that advertising hasn’t yet fully evolved to provide the kind of personal experiences social media and its users demand.

It seems that despite our social media use, we don’t just aspire to be a part of a larger group. Instead people want to stand out while being among people who share common values.

That’s a tricky recipe for advertisers to work from and it’s clear that better data intelligence is needed. Most of all there must be a greater understanding of the way emotional intelligence can drive informed communications strategies.

What we do know is that emotional connection is a powerful tool to encourage people into your story and brand.

Here is some food for thought for anyone looking to “tap into” the individual and create those kinds of connections:

  1. On average, clients and customers engage on six channels before converting. But this number is decreasing. Make it your business to understand which channels are the priorities for your clients and customers.
  2. Embrace technology. Machine learning and big data means we can now speak to individuals in a more scalable way, but only if we have the technology to do so.
  3. “Private” channels should be at the forefront of your efforts. The age of the individual is demonstrated by the expansion of tools such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Smart brands are increasingly integrating these tools into the sales funnel to cater to this need for personalised information and intelligence.

Key takeaways for B2B and B2C businesses:

  1. Businesses are made up of individuals. As providers of services or products we need to speak to a smaller but more intimate audience.
  2. Meeting client demand means migrating from multiple platforms to providing a full experience through few, or one, channel.
  3. Consider how social media can help tackle the rise of the individual and help you speak in a more targeted way to clients.

Also in this series:

Glenn Langridge is an expert in digital campaigning and marketing across multiple platforms, including social media. Contact Glenn.

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