Marketing has changed vastly in a short time period with the “dawn of the internet age”. Social and cultural changes don’t just have an effect on our businesses, they have a deep impact on our psyche. Behavioral economics, a massively growing field, is defined as an “attempt to integrate psychologists’ understanding of human behavior into economic analysis”, according to Psychology Today. In other words, why people buy what they buy, even when they aren’t necessarily behaving ‘rationally’. Is it rational and/or healthy to buy 10 boxes of Girl Scout cookies? No. Am I still gonna give them my money? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Your Customers are out there, but You have to Find Them

Let’s be real, even though we all like to think of ourselves as highly-informed consumers who do their research every time, we’re not. It can be really intimidating to do research on something you’re looking for. It’s hard work, it can be boring and sometimes, it can be really confusing.

Let’s walk through a little activity so you can see what I mean. Go to Google in another tab and type in “Best skin care products for men”. If you actually did it, which some of you definitely did not, you came up with about 442 MILLION results. Who is really going to hunt through that just for a quality face wash? No one. Not a damn soul is going to go through that and even if they did, it’d take DECADES. Ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense.

Targeting your Ideal Customer

This is where social media comes in. Social media is where the rubber (figuratively) meets the road. Everyone says you’re supposed to ‘meet your customers where they are’ and as cheesy as that sounds, it’s true. Social media allows you an exceptional amount of audience targeting so that you can find people who are already interested in the types products and/or services that you provide.

Own a home remodeling company? You can target people who live in your area and have specifically shown interest in HGTV and all of those shows that say ‘shiplap’ every 3 minutes. Own a winery in the Hill Country? You can still target people who watch HGTV and say ‘shiplap’ on the regular because I’m pretty sure that’s still your target market (women who love wine, Pinterest and that Chip and Joanna show).

Engage and Develop Relationships with your Customers

Aside from targeted marketing, social media offers businesses today an opportunity to communicate with their customer base on a daily basis, developing relationships. People want to feel like they’re heard, acknowledged and cared for by businesses that they support. This was a given when the town square was where everything happened, but that’s not the case anymore. No one likes to feel like they’re just another brick in the wall, and social media allows you to engage with your customers on a level beyond your most recent transaction.

Social media provides us, as business owners, a reminder that we are People selling to People, not just customers. It opens a door to communication, engagement, and eventually, loyalty – and isn’t that what we really want once we finish that box of Girl Scout cookies?

Written by : Randi Zimmermann

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