Virtual Social Intimacy: The Future of Social Media Marketing?
By Matt Merritt, Co-Founder and President, Audingo
Those of you who have been in the fields of public relations, marketing or advertising for more than five years probably remember a time when social media wasn’t part of the communications strategies you were drawing up for clients. But now – with blogs often considered legitimate news sources, Facebook approaching a billion users and nearly six million Twitter users following the handle @CNN – these avenues of influence are impossible to ignore.
As of February 2012, 66 percent of online adults and 80 percent of online teens were users of social media sites, according to Pew Research. While social media is still big business, the next wave has finally arrived.
Social intimacy is the degree of familiarity individuals have with one another – the depth of the personal connection. As noted by Liza Utter in her Huffington Post piece “Social Intimacy & Social Media: Why Face Time Is Still Key”:
Your life’s triumphs and struggles keep you connected with your audience…Sharing personal experiences creates intimacy and fortifies an otherwise seemingly superficial relationship.
Whether you rep a professional athlete or advertise for a health care company, you know that creating a sense of identification and perceived closeness among fans, customers and supporters directly corresponds with loyalty to your client personality or organization.
So how is virtual social intimacy achieved?
There is something singularly unique about the human voice, and as explained by Bob James on Engage365, “The moment we see an emotion expressed on someone’s face…we subconsciously place ourselves in the other’s shoes.”
Audingo, recent recipient of $3 million in angel funding and pioneer in the audio-visual social media space, takes these universal truths into account. The company has developed a mobile platform that allows users to hear directly from choice organizations and personalities via personalized audio and video messages in the form of a call, text or email. As reported by Reuters, DreamWorks Animation Chief Jeffrey Katzenberg recently predicted that the future of social media “moves from text-based communication to video and audio-based, making it more intuitive and instinctual.” Social intimacy takes social media to the next level.
Celebrities and consumer brands understand that their supporters have largely contributed to their fame and success and want those fans to feel like they belong to their inner circle. Integrating a new form of social media – personalized and mobile-based – into your communications strategy will allow people to engage with your client on a deeper level than other social media platforms allow, where and how they want to connect.
Additionally, the mobile audience in the United States is now beyond 234 million people age 13 and over, with 101.3 million smartphone users and growing, as reported by Jacobs Media. Because Americans keep their mobile phones in arm’s reach at almost all times, it’s no surprise that advertising spend on mobile messaging is predicted to increase 8-fold by 2017, according to Juniper Research. Reaching consumers exactly where they are with a phone call or audio text, for example, cuts through the clutter so common to many social media sites.
By applying the concept of permission marketing to mobile messaging, one can hone his or her strategy even further. “Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them,” according to Seth Godin. With this in mind, advertisers can utilize the demographic information and interests of people who have opted in to receive messages on their mobile phones, such as Audingos, to deliver compelling offers. Knowing your audience can help you transform your method from a shotgun to a rifle shot approach.
These targeted ads can also generate more measurable results. Actionable, on-the-spot offers for message recipients mean that they are able to immediately choose to receive an email or text message with a coupon code, for example, or to be transferred to a customer service representative. Being able to reach people on their smartphone with personalized content gives precision-based advertising new meaning…mobile just may be the most important distribution channel in marketing today.
To date, social media has primarily facilitated a one-to-many approach for organizations and personalities when it comes to connecting with their supporters – but what everyone craves is one-to-one attention. With virtual social intimacy now within reach, the very mobile future of social media is here.
Published: August 30, 2012 By: