12 ways to delight your online audience

Don’t flood your social media community with the same old stuff. Tap into their emotions and their spirits, and engage them on an elemental level. Try these approaches.

What do you think of when you think of the word “delight?” Some may think of a huge ice cream cone. My 9-year-old may think of a $50 gift card to his favorite online game or a supersize Slurpee from 7-Eleven.

Delight is in the heart of the receiver. What delights me won’t necessarily delight you the same way.

According to Dictionary.com, delight (as a verb) is defined as “to please someone greatly.” Notice the key word of “greatly.” Delight does not equal commonplace. It does not mean doing, writing, posting, tweeting, pinning, +1-ing the same exact thing every other business in your niche is doing.

Have you ever thought about how you can delight your audiences? When you are developing your marketing plans, editorial calendar, or tweet content for the day (or week), are you thinking about the benefits it can offer the lives or businesses of the people reading them?

Even though we are all “delighted” differently, we do have some common needs when it comes to being delighted.

Most people want to:

  • Feel loved
  • Feel needed
  • Be valued
  • Be smart
  • Feel cared for
  • Be fulfilled
  • Not feel stupid
  • Laugh
  • Feel emotion
  • Be inspired
  • Dream
  • Succeed

Do you know how to delight your audiences? Make them feel something that feels unique to what other brands are blasting at them. To do this, you must know who your audience is. You must know how to delight them. You must know what delights them. Do they care more about laughing, learning, being empowered, feeling smart, achieving a specific goal? What is it they really want? What is their end game?

Download this worksheet to help you analyze and prioritize your audiences. It’s based on the Forrester Post Methodology and will help you begin to develop a social media framework that is focused on the goals and objectives of your audience.

Here are 12 ways to delight your social media community:

1. Be human.

Humanize your brand. Don’t talk like a robot in 1995 corporate-speak. Realize that your brand is everything about you, from what you tweet to how you respond to comments on Facebook. Don’t hide your employees. Let them shine and be a living, breathing representation of who and what you are. Read more here: “13 Characteristics of the Human Brand.

2. Make them feel loved.

Loved , you ask. Why loved, you might be giggling. Because at the core of our inner being is a need to feel needed. We want to feel loved, be loved. When someone visits your blog, Facebook page, or other social network profile, are you making them feel loved? Or is it all about you?

3. Capture their hearts in the first 30 seconds.

What are you doing to make their first 30 seconds on your platform delightful? If you can’t answer this question, you need to start here. First impressions are everything.

4. Slow down to speed up.

You aren’t going to delight your audiences overnight or on the first day you launch your Twitter profile or Facebook page. Building and launching an integrated online platform take time. Give yourself and your team the time to do it right.

There are many brands out there doing it fast, trying to win the market with old tactics and spamming. Slow down and do it right, and at the end of the game you’ll be the winner.

5. Think integration and architecture, rather than fast wins.

When we work with clients we help them build their brand and social foundation with a framework designed to delight their audience before launching. Many contact me or our agency, Marketing Nutz, in a huge hurry to launch. They often say “build us a platform just like yours, fast.”

What many don’t realize is our integrated online platforms have taken years to build. We didn’t just start with a marketing nut Twitter handle. We started with a business plan, a social brand architecture, business models, and an integrated strategy to take it all to market and achieve a positive ROI. We are far from launching our full vision, though many think we’re just some crazy, tweeting, marketing nuts.

We didn’t start by spamming offers, we started by doing social listening and learning as much as humanly possible about our target audiences, the social media communities and ecosystem as a whole.

Integration takes time, but the payoffs far surpass those of social houses that are built overnight. There is no social media “easy” button. Roll up your sleeves, and do the stuff right.

6. Inspire them to be better.

Inspire your audiences to connect with you with a foundational goal of achieving their objectives. Inspire, connect, achieve. To do this you must know their objectives. To know their objectives you must know them.

When you know your audience then you can know how you can help them be better. How can you help them learn? How can you help them go faster? Work smarter? Be smarter? Share more valuable information with their colleagues, clients, partners, and friends? What matters to them?

Figure it out, and provide it.

7. Strike an emotional chord.

Make them feel something. If you want to grab my attention on Twitter, make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me feel something, anything.

When I have a super busy day and I am replying to tweets on Twitter, I have no choice due to the amount of them and time constraints but to choose where and when I am going to respond. It is an easy choice for me. I respond to the people who grab my attention. The people who are nice, who make me feel good. The people who are genuine. The people who make me laugh. Pull an emotional chord.

Don’t send snarky tweets trying to get attention. Most people can see right thru the snark and won’t respond. I ignore the trolls and the folks looking only for attention. Be genuine and offer something of emotional value.

8. Focus on relationships and the heartbeat of social media.

The heartbeat of social media is people. People like you and me. People who laugh, cry, get mad, go crazy, get married, divorced, have kids, lose family members, win jobs, lose jobs, get promotions, win new clients, get new opportunities, have fun, play hard, and work hard.

Offer value to the people in your community with a goal of building real relationships. Offer value and knowledge. Be part of the thriving, lively beating heartbeat of social media.

9. Teach them.

What knowledge can you share with them that will make them smarter? How can your knowledge drive real efficiency in their life or business? Share your best stuff, not just the junk you wrote two years ago that is overused and oversold.

Check out this post, “Are You Sharing Your Best Stuff” for more information and ideas on this topic.

10. Make it easy to engage with you.

People want to connect. They don’t want to be spammed at every opportunity you have to do such. Give them an opportunity to engage with you, your brand, and your team. Be available. Open up your comment stream on your blog. Enable people to engage with you on the social networks such as Facebook. Respond to tweets on Twitter in a short time period.

11. Focus on inbound marketing and organic attraction.

If you create content that does the things listed above you will organically attract your right customers. Focus on offering value for the right audience, make it “findable” on the social networks and search engines and you will see results. Creating the right content that delights your audiences will organically attract them to you and your brand if implemented correctly.

Of course, there are many details and considerations to implementing an inbound marketing strategy that brings results. I cannot possibly teach you everything you need to do for this in one simple post. I can share with you though that my No. 1 tip is that you know your audience. Learn how to inspire, attract, and connect with them as a top goal.

12. Pay attention.

The most important thing you can do to better delight everyone who comes in contact with your brand is to listen to them. Listen with a goal to understand, not just think about the next thing you can shout back at them.

Bottom line, listen more than you talk. You’ll be amazed how much you can learn about your audience when you shut up and listen.

Are you delighting your audiences as a top goal? If not, are you ready to do such? Ready to at least give it a try? What brands delight you the most? Why? What is it about them that delights you?

Pam Moore is CEO and founder of Marketing Nutz. A version of this article first appeared on PamMarketingNut.com.

COMMENT

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.