A brand is your promise. It is what binds you to your audience, to those that know and love you and even the those who don't yet know you exist.
Your brand is how you make people feel. It's how you draw them close to you, or not.
A brand is so much more than a logo, pretty colors, pretty Facebook cover image, or customized Twitter background. It is everything you tweet, post, pin, like, share, say and do. It is even how you drive and how you behave in real life.
When you think of brands that are memorable what brands come to mind?
Why do they come to mind?
How do they make you feel?
Why do you remember them?
Do you remember them because of an experience?
Did the brand make you feel a different way?
Did the brand pull an emotional heart string?
Did the brand make you happy?
Did the brand make you feel smart?
Did the brand make you feel better about yourself or your business?
Did the brand empower you to do more, be more, be better?
Did the brand help you achieve your goals?
Did the brand simply taste, smell or feel good?
Did the brand earn your trust?
Did the brand earn your heart?
Chances are that somewhere along the way from when you first came in contact with the brand to now, the brand has earned your heart. Only you know the reason. Or it could even be you never really think about the reason. You just know you like the brand or maybe even love it. You may even be addicted to it.
When we think of social media, social business, marketing and business, it's easy to get tied up in things that don't really truly connect us with our audience. We may have a bad case of the shiny object syndrome or even be an admitted data junkie.
Obviously tools, technology, data, analytics, methodologies, frameworks, pretty pictures, logos and even a healthy dose of shiny objects are required for success in business. However, the trick is to balance both tools and human connection. You must never lose sight of your goal, your mission and the desire to connect with the heart of your audience.
If you are not achieving your goals using social media, instead of looking to another tool to solve your problem maybe you should dive in deep to your core purpose, your audience and your ability to truly inspire and connect with them. Maybe you are missing the “heart thing” and it is what keeps you from success in business? Read->10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience (includes video)
Social media hierarchy of needs
Social media solves basic human emotional needs.
It helps people feel connected.
It helps them feel needed.
It helps them feel loved.
It helps them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
The heartbeat of relationships, business and life is human beings. The heartbeat of social media is you and me. The heartbeat grows healthier, louder and stronger as more people are organically attracted to each other, as communities grow, are nurtured and do amazing things together. The heartbeat is what people feel. It's what makes them see your brand in good or bad light.
The heartbeat is at the core of what they share with their friends, about you and your brand. It's what they see, talk about, share, listen to, watch, virtually touch and feel that keeps them coming back. It's the emotion of good, sad, bad, frustrated, happy and grateful. It's the ability to share all of those special times and moments with others.
It's new friendships that start with a Tweet on Twitter and turn into a like or friendship on Facebook. It's the friendship that evolves to in real life friendship, partnership and lasting bonds.
The heartbeat of social is people sharing life together. Yes, we share business. Yes, we share blog posts, data, expertise, tips and tricks. However, at the end of the day, people buy from people. Human beings are at the heart of communities. Communities are the heart of the social networks. You can't have one without the other.
Are YOU part of the beating heart?
Are you part of the beating heart? Is your brand contributing to the larger social ecosystem and to the human beings within it in a positive, healthy way? Or are you contributing to the noise, the confusion, the stress or even disbelief in the value of social media?
I challenge you to think about this question each day. When you logon to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ or favorite social network of choice, ask yourself how you are contributing to the beating heart and the real power of brand connection and human empowerment.
Create something bigger than yourself. Create something that feels so good people just want to be part of it and they may not even know why. Do something that outlives your Twitter profile, your Facebook business page or your Klout score.
Inspire your audience to connect with you with a goal of helping them achieve their goals. When you help them, connect with them as human beings, you will then achieve your goals by default. Inspire – Connect – Achieve.
Get the heart thing first and the chances are you will get the “social media for business results” thing too. Trust me, it works. Got it?