Social media has changed the way brands interact with their consumers. For many years, the communication strategy of a business focused more on appealing to the masses instead of connecting with an individual. Today, this approach has shifted towards personalising the message for a niche target group or making it attractive for an individual with customised offerings. In a population of over a billion people, this individual-centric approach, which is provided by social media, has taken over the internet by a storm. It is no longer just a trend, but a vital part of social media marketing. A brand’s personalised conversation with its customers is what drives its sales, reputation and customer loyalty.
Social media has been the trigger for personalisation to flourish, and in some aspects, vice-versa. Personalisation on social media, and other places on internet, is driven by data. Thanks to social media, huge amount of data about billions of individuals is available and bifurcated into niche categories. This helps marketers to identify their potential customers and pin-point on the things which influence their buying instinct. This way, instead of spending a lot of money on advertising to the masses, the marketers can focus on the people who are more likely to be interested in their products or services, and reach out to them directly. This helps in cutting through the noise and targeting the potential customers with far more ease. It also helps the consumer access products which match their interests and are according to their specifications, without having to spend hours searching the web.
If done right, targeted communication can be highly relevant and mutually beneficial for both the marketer as well as the customer. However, despite availability of many sophisticated tools, the way marketers approach social media personalisation utility tends to leave the consumer feeling as if they are being watched. It is essential to personalise the communication in a meaningful and valuable manner.
One of the ways to do it is to provide the customers with options and ideas that they themselves hadn’t thought of before, thus adding value to their search task. Instead of showing the advertisements of the products the customer has already viewed once, the communication approach should be creative enough to entice them to view the same or other products without it seeming like virtual stalking, which is not only creepy, but it’s also annoying. Remember the consumer wants to stay connected to the brand, to be reminded about the items in his/her wish-list, to be informed about the latest catalogue and for the brand to know his/her preferences beforehand. This is where sophisticated recommendation algorithms come into the picture. They help to engage the consumer, without crossing the limit of privacy, by offering innovative solutions.
Providing personalised experiences to customers is an integral part of every brand’s marketing strategy today. Whether through video, retargeted ads, quizzes, direct messages, or a wholesome campaign which includes everything, personalised content that complements the value system of the customer is now in demand. Content which is personalised for a specific group of individuals helps in increasing customer engagement, and this directly impacts social media ROI (return on investment). Personalised communication also tends to increase a brand’s affinity and awareness in social media conversations.
The benefits of personalised social media marketing are immense and the way it is evolving the communication approach of brands to facilitate bonding with their consumers will remain an interesting area to explore.