More and more the user experience is becoming what online marketing is all about. In my opinion, this is great news! Whether it be Google talking about penalties for mobile app interstitials or users getting booted for spamming a forum, the user experience is becoming hugely important not only for your potential online sales and reputation but also for your rankings. It is increasingly important for you to “win the internet” so how do you do that?
From everything that I am seeing, and I am most definitely not alone in this, it is all about connecting with users on a personal level. We have all grown up in a world full of cheesy ads trying to sell us products in completely impersonal ways and it simply just doesn’t work anymore. We are a highly engaged group of people, from Generation X to Millennials, we have lived much of our lives plugged into the world and connecting with it in a way no generations before have. These generations need to be connected with in a genuine way, Millennials especially require this sort of personal connection. Being a parent of two Millennials is a bit of a marketing win for me as I get to watch how they work and interact online on a daily basis and I learn a lot from that! They are the key to what drives the internet and I better pay attention if I want to win it!
A good online marketer will always be ready to pounce on an opportunity to connect on a personal level with their market. Some people ask me sometimes just how to do that, especially if your product isn’t a personal one. Really all you have to do is watch for the moment to arise and be there when it does. An amazing example of this appeared a couple of days ago on the Facebook group Humans of New York. (If you haven’t checked it out, please do, your life will instantly be better than it was.)
Now, this seems a rather normal post for this page, nothing too shocking or crazy (though sometimes their posts can be). Many businesses would miss this post if they were mentioned in it, others may see it and perhaps like it or comment with a “thanks” or “come visit us” sort of post. Macy’s chose to win the internet instead. They saw the opportunity to potentially connect with the 16,064,378 followers this group has but not in a cheesy generalized sales way but rather by using personalized, genuine, funny and approachable comments on the post and directly as replies to other commenters.
In this example we see Macy’s being a little cheeky with a user, they meet her on her level and comment in a way that a normal person would in a conversation.
They are being playful, not selling anything and connecting with the commenter in a casual way. But this isn’t where they “win the internet” though I’d say it’s getting pretty close.
Macys big internet win was when they watched for the perfect moment to talk to real people in a personal and engaging way …
Sure they linked through to their site (and might I note in most cases that action would get their comment deleted) but they came at it from the direction that the average user would. They didn’t go for the sale, they went for the personal connection.
I would LOVE to know how many pairs of Lederhosen pajamas they have sold due to this. And in general how much more positive brand awareness they gained. Maybe it’s just part of the same old Miracle on 34th St. story, Macy’s once again gains business by simply connecting with people on their level. I am sure there were most definitely positives from this moment of engagement and I applaud their social media team for doing a great job, it’s not every day you get to go home after a day at work and say you won the internet.