Erase the Guilt Barrier Between You and Your Customers

Advertising Age recently posted a solid analysis on How to Get the Social Media Generation Behind Your Cause.

Even if you’re not a non-profit, there’s still at least one core value in Ad Age’s article that applies to your business:

Make sure your program has a way to prove to this group that their involvement made a difference. Sixty-four percent of young adults say they would get involved with a marketer’s program if they believed the involvement was large enough to make a difference.

That’s great news for non-profits, but how does this need for actionable results translate to a for-profit business?

Actually, for the consumer, the payoff is the same.  But one message feels better than the other.

Help Me Help You

For a charity to succeed in social media, its messaging must convince recipients that their actions will have a demonstrable positive effect on the cause at hand — which, by association, improves the recipient’s own life.

For a business to succeed in social media, its messaging must convince recipients that their actions will have a demonstrable positive effect directly on their own lives.

So, in both cases, the message’s recipient ultimately has to make a choice, which can directly (or indirectly) improve her own life.

The difference?

Charities seek to motivate individuals to help others.  That’s a positive feeling we can all appreciate.

Meanwhile, businesses encourage individuals to help themselves.  That feeling is sometimes harder to justify.

Doing Business Without the Guilt?

Whom do your products help?

How is someone’s life improved by purchasing your services?

Are you saving someone time?  Are you helping someone get better at what they love?

Is your company investing in the future through education, ecology or other social good?

These are the kinds of proactive messages that can help people feel better about business — yours, in particular — and may help mitigate the guilt reflex associated with purchases.

Remember: social media is people.  And when you help people feel better about themselves, you’ve erased one more barrier between you and them.

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One thought on “Erase the Guilt Barrier Between You and Your Customers

  1. This is very good (sixty four percent..).
    It stresses the need to:
    – Target (can’t be everything to everyone)
    – Relevance and value (to demonstrate the positive effect on their own lives)
    – Message through real participation of real people in social media (blog etc..) (believing hinges on trust which is a slow process and having a brand interacting with its audience in a true SM way helps build trust).

    Laurent

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