- Listen: use social media to gather input about it. What do people like, how do they behave and who is influential for them?
- Give: add value to the life of people who are in the niche. People don't think about your brand, they have needs, passions and desires your brand can meet;
- Embrace: follow the niche, don't expect the opposite. People will give you priceless guidance in finding people with similar interests;
A long time ago Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer said "If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were". A few years later, Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, who you know as Sting, rephrased it into "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free".
I'm not sure how much they were thinking about marketing when they first said it, but it really looks like their thinking is very strong applied to the relationship between people and brands.
A recent study by ExactTarget explains how brands that want to build a good, healthy and valuable relationship with their communities should avoid a few errors. Every one of this errors means being too much invasive in people's lives, and trying to be aggressively tied to them. This can often cause the opposite effect: if brands try to engage with too many messages too often, people will run away.
Sting and Gibran perhaps didn't have these data available when they wrote their formulas, but look at the evidence:
- 44% say they "unlike" brands when they post too frequently;
- 43% say they run away if their wall is too crowded with marketing posts;
- 41% say they "unfollow" their brands if their streams becomes too crowded with marketing content;
- 39% say they stop following a brand if the company posts too frequently;
The way we enjoy content has been heavily modified by social media. We feel like conversation must be a part of what we watch, we know that sharing should be integrated with what we read and we want a collective exchange with our social graph when we look for inspiration.
Think about it: this is the basis for all of the last evolutions in content fruition: the possibility to share the experience is the core of geolocation services, the possibility to live the same experience or to rate it as fundamental in tools like GetGlue or Miso. All of this is the foundation of what I called the "universal check-in".
The way people watch TV is chenging deeply: 42% surf the internet while watching television.
This has a big impact on the entertainment industry, too. New experiments are born everyday and I think we'll see many more in the next few months. One of the latest ones is very interesting, consisting in an app released by ABC for its TV Series Grey's Anatomy.
Here's how this iPad app works:
- You watch your TV show
- The app synchronizes with it, understanding via iPad's Mic the current timing of the show
- The app lets you interact with the show and experience collateral content