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Building a strategy around connected customers

Blog
6th March 2018

Customers today are more connected than ever. This seems obvious because everyone is using so many different social networks and messaging tools today, but for executives who are responsible for planning the interaction between a brand and the customer, it’s important to really appreciate just how connected the modern customer really is.

There are now almost 3bn users of social networks globally. Facebook alone has over 2bn regular users. It is important for brands to understand that this growth in social media and messenger tools is not just a multichannel problem. We are not just observing new communication channels being added to existing ones. These new channels are actually changing the way that people communicate and your customers expect you to understand that.

The Higher Education Marketing Journal recently featured an exploration of all the major social networking services and how people are using them to communicate, but the article also explored some of the behavioural changes taking place just because these networks exist:

  1. They created a sense of urgency and a need to share: In the early days of Facebook and Twitter, sharing was an answer to the question ‘what is happening right now’ and would often be single word statements of an activity. Now, there is a constant need to share information about our lives – restaurants are even designing food so that it looks good on Instagram. It now feels entirely normal for many people to endlessly share videos and photos from their daily life.
  1. They provide an inside perspective on faraway places: Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest in particular are allowing visual insights into faraway places. If you are planning to visit Glasgow soon, then search these visual networks and a constant stream of real-time content from the locals can be viewed.
  1. They allow the full story, not just highlights to be shared: By using Memories and Stories, users can become creators – telling far more complex stories using multiple images, graphics, and text.
  1. Digital messages have become far more personal: Customized content is no longer about adding a name to an email. When brands offer fun filters on Snapchat they can be guaranteed to engage with millions of people.
  1. Engaging millennials with news once again: Social media is the most important source of news for millennials. They want news in their news feed and they want to be able to comment and interact with stories – the print newspaper is history. How do you share a story from a newspaper?
  1. Provided the ability to broadcast live: Tools like Periscope, Facebook Live, and Instagram Live give users the easy ability to broadcast live video from events. It’s possible to scan the globe on Periscope and to see live video coming from all over the world.

As mentioned, these are real changes in consumer behaviour, not just an addition to existing communication styles. The steep decline in the number of phone calls is one example of how text and video communication has largely replaced the voice call for friends wanting to stay in touch.

Companies need to seriously consider how these changes in communication style affect the interface between them and their customers. A few years ago, nobody would have imagined that restaurants would be giving out lights and tripods to help their customers. The way your customers talk to each other has changed dramatically in the recent past and this also affects how they want to communicate with your brand.

Let me know what you think about these changing communication trends by leaving a comment here or get in touch directly via my LinkedIn.


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

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