Gotta love writing about social media in PR. There’s new stuff to mull on everyday. Or, go beyond mulling to imagine new ways of doing things that create space for new ideas in your audience.
In other words, aim for inspiration to motivate behaviors.
Recall, Planning Does Not Equal Doing
However, before we actually “do” something, like buy, watch, act, we “plan” to or create an “intention” to do it. Sounds obvious, but that’s not a simple mantra to emulate in practice.
PR literature is rife with well-meaning social marketing efforts that have a noble goal, painstakingly conducted audience research, thorough analysis, well-executed campaign plans, yet behavior change, if any, is way below expectations.
Inspiration is a strong motivator to act. Researching what is good for your audience is important, but researching what really gets them going is inspiration.
Yet, effectively researching inspiration is a tricky thing because it does not allow for traditional ways of audience segmentation. In other words, what makes me tick might be just a tad different from others in my psychographic/demographic profile.
And often, identifying those little differences are all important in changing behaviors.
I came across a magazine (in this case “Dwell” but that is not the point) on something inspirational, I wanted to savor the moment to mull on the concept.
What exactly was inspiration: it was a bit of dreams (a feeling connected with a value we hold like freedom), hopes (personal, professional), actualization (seeing myself there).
Social Media and PR Research
Social media enables us to understand a great deal about our audiences, much more than we could before. For PR researchers, it provides invaluable, unimaginably rich forms of data.
With aggregating information about your clients across different platforms (e.g., video, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, podcasts), it is reasonable to say we can get a fairly comprehensive picture of our audience.
Supplemented with classic research methods such as focus groups, surveys, and experiments, PR practitioners can cultivate a well-researched understanding of what inspires their audiences.
Heck, we even shout it out. And as a true PR professional, you can now have your ear tuned in when your audience is speaking to you.
Corporations are getting good at social media market research, although there are still occasional complaints about “why am I seeing ‘this’ ad on my FB stream?”
One of the newer campaigns on my Tumblr blog for instance, has a Capital One Venture Campaign theme , with a dreamy backpacking travel picture. I did not notice it was an ad until I came to the end of the brief post and saw the disclaimer. Nice.
It capitalized (no pun intended) on Tumblr’s blogging platform strength with photos and a pithy caption, but did so rather well, and above all, in a way that spoke to me.
On the other hand, had I noticed something annoying there, I would have disconnected from the company, it’s message, and if it happened once too often, maybe from the platform altogether.
Bottomline, oftentimes there is just one opportunity to win or fail. Aim carefully, aim well.
Coffee and Chocolate
With related studies reporting adverse effects in other health areas, or even qualifying the conditions when it is helpful, it’s still wise to leave coffee and chocolate as inspirations for your muse.
Or, plug it for your cause.
Here’s one cause marketing example I appreciate from Endangered Species.
What inspires you?