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3 Ways Emotions Boost Online Engagement

Mayur Gala

If Martians were to land in your backyard today and wanted to know what being “human” was like, what would you show them?
Perhaps you’d show them examples of people looking after each other: parents looking after a baby, volunteers hammering together a house for someone whose life will be changed by it; or the way we stop for someone who has tripped to ask if they’re all right; or perhaps the way an entire nation donates food and medicine to countries in need. It’s when we’re caring for one another that we’re at our best.

Emotions add a human touch

We could all do well to understand this. While the real world is about distances keeping people apart, the ‘net is about shared interests bringing people together. This is the Cluetrainway of thinking at its finest. I teach it, write about it, lecture on it – and I have the rights to the material for my courseware.
The Cluetrain Manifesto states in part:

“The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge. Human communities are based on discourse—on human speech about human concerns. The community of discourse is the market. Companies that do not belong to a community of discourse will die.”

When a brand loses its human voice, people tune them out. They simply become part of the online noise because there is no emotional connection. Emotional connection is key.

Emotions are the reaction to your brand

I am working on a strategy session for an association because its marketing efforts have stopped working. This association has a brand out there that most folks either don’t understand, dislike, or ignore.
In my strategy sessions, I have culled input from about a dozen people. These folks are fairly high up in their client food-chain – all of whom believe the association to be irrelevant. To be fair, none of them have actually said this – but it’s an overall general feeling. I have my hunches as to why it has happened, but my hunches aren’t important here. What matters is the feelings of those dozen people. It’s an important word, feel. Feel = Emotion.
And in when it comes to your brand, emotion trumps everything.

Emotions help connect your message to your masses

This particular association’s list of members and prospects has been burnt to a crisp through overuse; they deluge the recipients with the same stuff, over and over again. Now, if a client were to call me several times a day, I’d be delighted. However, this could be bothersome if it comes from someone I don’t have an emotional connection with; even hearing from them once a month could leave me annoyed.

When a brand loses its human voice, people tune them out. They simply become part of the online noise because there is no emotional connection.

And that’s the crux. A brand has to make a positive emotional connection to get through to people. It’s the only way to reach them and start and create a conversation. When communicating to an audience, the words information and content should be replaced with the word relationship.

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