Understanding Blogging & Social Media / Marketing and consumer behavior

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8af7a-animal-2067456__340Its been a year and a half since I started blogging. When I began I was a battered and bruised warrior, on a mission to recover from an accident. Today, I’m still that warrior with a weakness in one area and stronger in others. Whatever makes us weak can be complimented by increased strength developed elsewhere.

If blogging was my day job I would fire me(smile), or I would give me several warning letters! Consistency has not been something I can be marked favorably on. Instead, healing has been my all-time job, and once I accepted the position, there are benefits for the gains I have been making. You must be fully committed to whatever you pursue if you are seeking excellence.

Benchmarking against the performance of theory and others, can severely weaken one’s ability to grow when it comes to healing. An excellent doctor once admonished me by saying, “Your body knows itself. It tells you when it needs help. How can you tell it, it does not, when it shows its distress through pain and inflammation?” Thus I eventually listened to my body, giving it time to recover. With blogging I decided to listen on several publishing platforms, to understand what drives readers and followers to choose one over another.

blog 2Readers, followers, bloggers.

Blogging is much more than sharing stories via words posted online. “One must be keen to listen to be good at blogging, because its about a conversation.” This is my understanding of blogging from my experience. Businesses have been reaching out to have this conversation. Bloggers tell a story with their reading/viewing customers, which can help influence the decision-making process. In fact, social media influencing has become a major marketing strategy across most commercial industries. Competitive advantage is gained or lost through reviews of ‘rants and raves’ ( Trip advisor ,Amazon, and others) on the customer experience — experienced!

People blog because they believe they have something they wish to share with the world. For this sharing to be effective, an audience that is willing to read and respond is necessary. Responding can take the form of ‘liking’ and that can be compared to someone listening to a singer and clapping to show their appreciation. When the audience starts singing along with the singer, its the beginning of ‘engagement’ and a beautiful conversation. The standing ovation can be associated with the sharing and commenting on the blog which stirs emotion.

Now there are times when an audience may not like the words presented. This has been an interesting observation I’ve been a part of on different sites. If the words are the opinion of the author its personal. Let’s face it, political and social views are a haven for controversial discussion and debate. Initially, it was hard to read and discuss the views of others who were of a different mindset. Though I thought I could be unbiased — my cultural, ethical, moral, religious, political and a host of other beliefs called out emotional actions and reactions!

“We tend to cling and be drawn to the things we like, or feelings we control, and shun the ones which unsettle and disrupt.”

Disruption creates chaos which can either lead to greater understanding or a ‘war of words and hurt feelings.’ I’ve experienced both and I’d like to say ‘maturity’ comes from understanding the things which ‘ruffle our feathers’ while allowing our feelings to settle and be less judgmental about the other person’s opinion. Disruption is also the one sure way we can move from our ‘limited vision’ while seeing what impacts on the perception, and views of others.

Marketing and the Blogger

In marketing we learn that different markets require different strategies. Our target market will be made up of several types of consumers, and the ones we focus on will be those we believe we can convert to buyers. If our research is contaminated by bias, or misinformation, then, when the product is offered the results will dispute the research. Personal blogging can be like that.

Some bloggers will start without a clear plan. As they develop confidence in their skill, they may be guided by the topics which stimulate discussion and sharing from followers. Many times , bloggers do not see their readers and followers as consumers, and are disheartened by the results after publishing. Bloggers should have a basic marketing strategy to ‘get the ball rolling’ based on their objectives and goals.

Blogging and social media communication, requires some general understanding of marketing and consumer behavior to be effective. You don’t need to be qualified to listen , you simply need to be ‘open’ to listening. Blogs are important as stated in ‘Principles of Marketing, Kotler & Armstrong. 2006,p561. Pearson, 11th Edition’, “Blogs have voice and personality. They’re human. They come to us not from some media-genic, anchor-bot on an air-conditioned sound stage, but from an individual.” This is one of the reasons why we experience strong emotions, when bloggers use their pen, sharing their truest opinions and beliefs. When a reader takes the time to respond passionately whether in agreement or disagreement, the blogger has been effective.

In his latest article on Inc. ‘Here’s how to properly align your sales and marketing teams in 2017′, John White states, “ Social media has caused a blur in activities that are now both sales and marketing related…” As bloggers we should align our blogs (sales product) with marketing to increase our readership. When I started to think of blogging as a product I’m selling to my readers, the way I write and share took on a different meaning. My followers create a market for the words I’m ready to share!

I have found this blogging journey to be quite fascinating as I take apart the traditional thoughts and theories on marketing and consumer behavior. Social media is a dynamic communication tool, which requires ongoing participation and interaction, for the analytics to make sense!

Hoping you enjoyed reading and will share your thoughts through commenting or ‘liking’ the posts. I like hearing from all my readers, the fact that you take the time to read, is greatly appreciated.

Credits: Images: free-letters.com, metalholic.com, pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 3rd,2017

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