Five Areas of Social Marketing Motivation

When brands attempt to engage consumers via social marketing, it is important that the people responsible for building the social marketing strategy keep in mind what motivates consumers to want to ‘engage the brand’.

People all want to be something, and as a brand you’ve got to give them the opportunity to be who they want to be.

1. Be the Comedian

We all may not be as funny as Larry David (or even Larry the Cable Guy), but that doesn’t mean a part of us doesn’t want to be the one on stage making people laugh. Create opportunities for people to be funny via cool content, and they’ll be compelled send that message out to others.

2. Be the Philanthropist

People may be motivated by self-interest, but that doesn’t mean they’re selfish. Altruism is a powerful motivator, as evidenced by the number of people using Facebook to show their support for the issues they care about. If your brand takes part in a cause, it’s a great way to start up conversations with people who care about the same things.

3. Be the Expert

Everyone likes being recognized as an expert on something, whether it’s knowing all about Edward Cullen’s vampire family in Twilight, or being history savvy enough to know which portly U.S. head of state once got stuck in a bathtub. A quiz is a great way for a brand tap into that desire to appear smart, and give people a chance to show off their brains.

4. Be the Maven

Malcolm Gladwell talks about mavens in his book The Tipping Point, those trendsetters and early adopters who just have to be on the cutting edge of a social trend. These mavens like to share with others their latest purchase or music on their iPod. If you can create a motivation with a subliminal message of ‘be the first to share this with others’,  Mavens will take the bait and spread the word.

5. Be Recognized

‘Norm’ from the SitCom Cheers recieved a warm ‘Norm!’ from the bar every time he entered. This recognition is appealing to all of us and is why we return to places where ‘everyone knows our name’. The same is true in the social marketing world. If you show your consumers you know them, they will want to return and participate further. Foursquare and GoWalla provide the platform to perform this type of recognition.

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