How well do your customers know you? Not just your brand but YOU … you as a person? How much do you share of your personal life, not only on social media, but in person? And are those messages consistent?
For Phil and Jackie Young, Fleet Feet Davenport is their business, but customers are also friends and family. From their training programs to their e-newsletter to social media to in-person, they are fun and enthusiastic about running and life. In fact, on their Facebook page, they recently shared some big news for their family – a baby girl, their third child, due in August… thanks to the Cubs win last year. It was so popular, even ESPN picked up on the news in a video on World Series babies! Luckily, Phil had a great Fleet Feet shirt to wear in the cameo.
(We should note that Phil and Jackie are not currently MindFire clients – we just think they’re pretty rad and that they’re taking a smart approach to their social efforts!)
Jackie said their social presence is about creating a connection.
“We don't mind sharing an occasional picture of us on our website, or our family enjoying a race on social media. As a business we definitely believe that creating a real relationship with people is what makes us unique and successful. We enjoy hearing about our customer’s lives as well, which creates a community of loyal customers. When the internet is our biggest competitor, we can offer real, genuine, human interaction to educate and encourage others. Also, we can help people feel comfortable in the store by sharing parts of our personal lives. We enjoy making people feel a part of our community at the store!”
While sharing photos and updates on social media and cultivating that communication in person doesn’t come easy to everyone, it’s likely your customers associate you and the relationship they have with you and those at your business, with your business. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends, but it does mean being able to have a casual conversation, and share a little bit about your life. Cultivating that real, personal relationship not only builds trust and loyalty with your brand, but lets people know that a real person is behind the product or service.
Being authentic in that relationship and all communications is the key. From the post on Twitter, to your collateral, to the in-person conversation with your clients – it all has to jive to create a cohesive impression. This helps build trust with your clients – you are who you say you are, no matter the medium.
There are three ways to do this, according to an Ad Age article on brand authenticity: Embrace authenticity, provide real content and let your brand grow in that environment.
Ask yourself what you really believe, find the voices in your company that can communicate it and receive feedback from your customers, good and bad, to help determine where your brand should go next. “The value in having real people advocate for brands by inspiring, informing and entertaining audiences across social, content and video is real.”
Today, that means a lot. Social media advertising budgets doubled from 2014 to 2016, according to Hootsuite, so that’s a lot more money and time being spent on connections. The best way to let yours stand out? Make them real. Interested in learning how? Our Arsonists can help!