Headlines such as “Your Instagram Posts May Hold Clues to Your Mental Health” and “One Social Network Ranked Worst for Young People’s Mental Health and Well-being” appear across marketing publications and the mainstream news. What makes social media so addictive and occasionally problematic? I partnered with Anjali Lai to write “Mine The Emotions Behind Your Consumers’ Social Media Behaviors” an upcoming report that sheds light on why social media’s impact on consumers is so strong. We supplemented our research interviews with feedback from our ConsumerVoices market research online community, quickly discovering that the impact of social media is more complex than we initially thought. Our panelists had mixed emotions at the thought of disconnecting from social. They were quick to criticize social for being filled with vanity and fake news and expressed relief at no longer needing to keep up appearances if it disappeared.

Social media continues to impact consumers globally because it meets four fundamental human needs (comfort, connection, variety, and uniqueness). These needs also make it an effective tool for marketers. But to truly tap into the positive power of social media, marketers must thoughtfully plan their initiatives to avoid unintentionally becoming part of the “fray” or negative element residing across social networks. Go the distance with your social marketing efforts and:

  • Connect to your customers’ values and emotional needs. Give your customers a reason to interact with you. Use your social marketing programs to connect to their needs, values, and challenges.
  • Create cross-channel approaches to interactions. When customers see your brand, they see one entity, not numerous business units. Collaborate with your colleagues across your brand to present cohesive experiences across mediums.
  • Simplify their ability to connect with you. Don’t make your customers work to get a response from you across social media. When customers ask for help, provide it.

During Hubspot’s Inbound 2017 conference, Jen Rubio, co-founder of smart luggage brand Away, shared “if you’re not emotionally connecting with customers, you’re not selling your brand.” Read our report “Mine The Emotions Behind Your Consumers’ Social Media Behaviors” and start planning better, emotionally connected customer experiences and social interactions today.