We’ve reached the end of another year, and it was a doozy. From the good (the return of The X-Files to television and the Denver Broncos winning Super Bowl 50) to the less-good (a roller-coaster presidential election and the Zika virus), we had it all and are about to move on.
For brands, you’re in planning mode for a new year. While you muscle through your future, your customers face their own challenges for 2017. How can you reach out your hand, take theirs, and step into the next year together?
Feelings. You can’t stop them!
Your year may have sucked. It might have gone rough for your customers, too. Here are 5 feelings, for you and your audience, going into the next year:
“A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.”
Do you tend to feel that hope carries with it a sense of optimism? You’re not alone. Hope is often used in the context of a good outcome… We “hope for the best.” The very first Star Wars movie was titled, “A New Hope,” which contextually suggested good changes were on the two-sun horizon. Martin Luther King, Jr. is quoted as saying, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
A new year is an opportunity to improve. Whether your customers hope to increase their value in their career (through promotions, education, or influence), to gain ground with personal goals (like weight loss or skills), or to make strides in personal and professional relationships, their next year can look brighter than the last one.
Your social media approach can help them get there! By offering seasonal specials or posting positive ideas, you give your audience feelings which can support them through the growth they wish to accomplish. Make sure to incorporate a tone of hope in your digital marketing messages and offerings.
“Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.”
As much as we hope for the future, we each live in a reality which doesn’t always go as planned. Those times are when your audience most needs peace—mental and practical readiness in the face of the unknown. It’s just smart adulting! Not only that, but Google Trends shows that the keyword search “peace of mind” has steadily grown each year:
You can help your customers approach 2017 with peace of mind by alerting them to new trends, best practices, and hacks they can use for their own success. As the personal expert of your industry for your customers, provide them with helpful insights and insider strategies (just enough to remind them of your overall value) which they’ll use and share with their own circles. Don’t forget to present complex ideas through infographics or how-to videos!
“A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.”
If you’re any kind of smart branding person, giving joy is already your goal for your customers. When your product or service solves a problem, you create harmony where there was once discord. By relieving a pain point, you instead bring pleasure and peace of mind. You know how loudly a disappointed customer can rant about a complaint; a happy fan will rave about you to their friends and family.
Bringing joy to your fans, whether through excellent products or stellar service, happens when you start with that tried-and-true mantra, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” How would your customer service rep like to be treated? What sales methods work best for your top sales personnel? Which messages resonate the most with your own marketing staff?
Once your team remembers how joy feels when they receive it from a brand, they can in turn give it to your customers. Post uplifting videos, inspiring stories, and help your audience find the funny through caption contests and festive memes.
“An intense feeling of deep affection.”
Everyone has one: a moment in entertainment which depicts a love scene that simply makes you swoon. When Tom Cruise spoke those three unique words in Jerry Maguire, viewers collectively sighed and/or cried with emotion. This may not be your specific moment, but right now you’re thinking of the one which gets you every time.
The fact is, your customers do complete you. You didn’t create your brand to go nowhere and impact no one. Someone is meant to make use of what you provide, and that kind of relationship fosters deeper feelings than a simple money transaction. The fans who love you, and who feel loved by you, will let that feeling repeatedly lead them back for more.
Share the love with your fans by listening to their opinions, solving the pain points they share with you, and being selfless at key moments in their experience. A small gesture by you can make a huge difference to a customer, and you won’t know until you give it a try.
“A declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.”
You’ve arrived at the ultimate foundation for a great relationship with your customers going into a new year. You can give them all of the hope, peace, joy, and love in the hearts of your team, but unless you can assure them of your dependability and quality, the whole dynamic falls apart. Your audience wants—needs—your promise that you’ll be there for them.
You can make and keep promises to your customers by offering stellar start-to-finish customer service (from that first complaint to the final solution), providing protections and long-term warranties or support, and keeping impeccable customer notes so each contact with your brand isn’t the same old scramble we all hate when customer service can’t remember who we are. Do what it takes to keep the promises you make to your customers from that first touchpoint.
How do you feel about 2017?
Just days remain until we have to start writing a 7 instead of a 6… are you all set? Really Social is getting ready for the new year by offering a slew of training/consultation packages to help you and your customers have a fabulous 12 months ahead.