Internet marketing guru Guy Kawasaki was annoying me. His avalanches of posts and tweets had to be taxing Hootsuite (the tool that auto-posts to Facebook, Twitter and others) to its digital limit. But he’s a big wig in the field so I have to follow him. Still, look at the screenshot here: three Twitter updates in just 10 minutes. And it runs that way all day, on Facebook, too! It was only recently that I finally checked out Kawasaki’s book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions. The dry formulas of search engine optimization were getting to me, crucial though they may be, and I needed to inject some humanity into my posts and my brain. The book’s premise: search engine optimization targets search engines; we all know this. “Enchantment” on the other hand is a mindset adjustment for marketers. The best way to win over the beating hearts of humans is by giving them shopping and buying experiences that enrich their lives and strengthen their identities. Marketers must refocus from creating revenues to creating meaningful experiences and relationships. Specifically (and this is from the book cover): “in business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want[money!] but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people. By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions.” Huh? Sounded like old fashioned sales strategies dressed up to meet the social era. My airy-fairy alarm bells rang. Concepts that seem too easy and even magical–concepts like “enchantment”—bring out my evil skeptic. Kawasaki fights the idea that his principles qualify as manipulation, however. He claims enchantment “converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes the skeptics and cynics into the believers and the undecided into the loyal.” While Enchantment didn’t completely enchant me, I admit it gave me a sliver of new perspective that, while falling short of changing this skeptic into a loyal believer, did cheer me a bit and gave me a sense of meaning I’d been craving. Another arrow in the quiver, tool in the arsenal, and all that. But how? How does “enchantment” translate into optimized web content with hostility-converting super powers?
Enchantment Principle #1: Likeability (Great if you Can Get it)
Those who are naturally likeable should leverage likeability in social media. If you’re reading this post, you’re experienced enough to have taken a measure of yourself and determined whether you’re the Great Communicator or the Isolated Eccentric. (The world needs both!) It’s all about person-to-person, albeit carried out digitally, these days. If you ARE likeable (skepticism and italics mine), Kawasaki advises we:
- show some personality in our writing by stating our opinions daring to be bold and/or funny. Dare to disagree with accepted principles. Research your audience, pick a tone or voice that will appeal to them and stick with it!
- share what’s going on in your personal life. Let blog readers and Facebook users into your life. If you can’t do this (many can’t and shouldn’t), then use other marketing channels.
- Be as genuine as you can, by embracing the idea that you’re selling what you’re selling in order to improve lives rather than to make money.
- Consider using a podcasts, video posts to let people see how you sound and look. That is, IF you come across well in these media. If your crabby demeanor and shrill voice torpedoes speakers and screen, again, rely on other marketing approaches. It’s okay! I actually like a lot of the world’s curmudgeons, don’t you?
Enchantment Principle #2: Entangle Customers in Your Brand through Engagement Opportunities
The more you reel individuals into your brand by addressing their goals and desires, the less likely they’ll expend the mental energy to find another industry go-to person. Get those that stumble onto your blog, website, Facebook or Google Plus page to . . .
- Participate in surveys
- Comment on blog posts
- Retweet/repost your content
- Take part in sweepstakes and other games
- Submit photos and reviews
Engaging like this solidifies your business and products or services in a prospect’s mind. Like baby chicks, they imprint on you. Work it! Become the go-to person for all things . . . accounting, farm tours, insurance, truck hydraulics, soccer, whatever! Divided by thousands of miles, buyer and seller must find means and channels to bond over satellites and Ethernet cables. The more customers interact with you in a positive even fun way, the more they trust you.
Enchantment Principle #3: Participation is the Action You Call For
Pre-Social-Media-Era calls to action explicitly asked for a sale or phone call. Now, another step has intervened: the share, retweet, like, friend, follow have proven valuable as well. Calling for those actions are just as legitimate as asking for the sale. Where 15% of consumers trust a sales pitch from a vendor, 78% trust a recommendation from a friend. When current customers like, tweet or plus your blog post or webpage, they become your sales force, and a powerful sales force at that. Creating and strengthening relationships is now a central marketing strategy and something–a cause even–that consumers can embrace. They need conversation fodder for their social media lives. When you give it to them, you strengthen their relationships, but they promote for you. Win win!
Enchantment Principle #4: Let Social Media Channels Convince Prospects of Your Devotion to Their Needs and Well-Being
In the mindset that you want to improve prospect lives at least in your little industry niche, consider being available for customer service on easy, fun channels like Google Plus and Facebook. Even if the interaction doesn’t result in a sale, marketers must consider answering questions and addressing complaints valuable. After all, the goal is to bring about, “voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people,” namely customers. Now, not only are they buying your product or service, they buy an experience and that experience often needs support. Social Media research firm Social Bakers developed the “socially devoted” metric to measure customer service online. Top winners were:
- KLM Airlines, which got 94% of all Facebook questions answered, earning it top recognition from Social Bakers.
- Sony Mobile: Fans posted 3,449 questions to Sony´s Facebook wall, of which Sony answered 2,354, giving it a 68% response rate.
- Sephora This beauty brand has 3.5 million fans and responded to 58% of all wall posts. While falling behind KLM and Sony, Sephora is still far ahead of the average business. 95% of all questions asked on brand Facebook pages go unanswered. Wow! What an opportunity to get out ahead of competitors.
Don’t think you’re too cool to respond to blog, Facebook and Google+ comments. The brands that do find their reputations and sales numbers ramping up.
The Best Optimized Web Content
Have you found this blog post enchanting? (Wink wink.) If you’ve read Enchantment and considered how its principles apply to optimized web content, please share with us here. I guess I’ve gone for the enchantment goal by being honest and a little sarcastic in this post, but then again that was my style even before I read the book. Kawasaki has a comforting overall idea, but it might exist better in the Little Ponies World of Rainbows than our current marketplace. This said, I do have some hope that the millennial generation may get away from the singular focus on the all-mighty dollar AND I do think that certain professionals (therapists and medical people primarily) strive to do good rather than make the most money. But I digress. Want to connect with clients in a genuine way? Call 858-248-0667 or email Informed Web Content to discover how you can develop your voice and personality for an optimized content marketing program that makes you genuinely indispensable to them.