Data, data, data. People crave a personal connection online and in the real world. Thanks to the wealth of social media and marketing insights we’re now able to collect, we can easily innovate to customize the user experience in ways previously unimaginable.
Among the social media and marketing trends that stand out this year, personalization is a big one. It’s connected to email marketing, online advertising and influencer partnerships, and, when used effectively, it can increase customer loyalty.
But this is no robotic trend. We can’t just press a button and see personalization in play. Well, we can, but that doesn’t mean we should. In fact, blindly personalizing messages without thought of how, when or why can hurt a relationship.
A customized user experience happens when we employ technology with a human touch. Working with both our intuition and our insights, we can focus on bringing the best to our clients and audiences.
Although some of the toys for customization may be new, the thought process behind it relies on old standbys. Asking the right questions about your clients can make a world of difference. We know this from our beloved audience personas, who—by the way—can really help sort out which customization options are key. Who is in your audience? Where are they on social media? How do they like to connect?
Research shows that consumers crave relevant customized experiences. Why wouldn’t they, if it makes their daily lives easier and their choices more meaningful? When we talk about customization, we’re talking about putting the focus on the client and creating a connection through thoughtful choices and options.
It may be tempting to act fast and surge forward to maximize the returns customization can bring. But don’t be afraid to slow down. In fact, you may have to. Remember that data, data, data? It takes time to go through it.
You have to consider what your customers want, including:
- How they want to connect
- What a meaningful interaction looks like to them
- How they would like to be addressed (are you on a first-name basis?)
- Where they like to consume their news (are they likely to follow a link or would they prefer to stay within a platform or email?)
Truly thinking about these answers can improve the experience for both you and your followers. Think about customization from all sides. Sometimes it can be as simple as choosing the right time to send your email.
That’s right. Perhaps the most important factor when it comes to customization is choosing the right time to hit send. Scheduling an email for a Friday afternoon won’t reach office workers who have already checked out, but planning an Instagram post that will catch their eye during their evening scroll might be a better fit.
Don’t get distracted by bells and whistles. Dial it back to your core questions and think about what would make for a meaningful interaction. That’s the best form of personalization.