For any Dad, seeing the world through their children’s eyes is one of the great parts of the job. The opportunity to once again notice the little things that our busy lives seem to have screened out as not important. The colour of the leaves on a tree, the shapes in the clouds or as I’ve recently found out, all the spiders, bugs and creepy crawlies that reside in my backyard.
My four year old son Ethan, has recently become fascinated with the incredible world of ants and we often sit and watch them as they busily go about doing the things that ants do. With my marketers lense in focus, I’ve noticed what extraordinary little communicators they are as they scurry about in their socially driven community. So in the hyper-connected digitally savvy world we do business in, is there a thing or two that ants can teach us about social media marketing? You bet:
1. Ever tried to put a rock in front of a line of ants on a mission? They quickly find a way around it. If you try to block every negative comment about your business on social media, your customers will find a way around it and be sure to tell all their friends about it. Respond promptly and professionally and take negative feedback on board to help improve your business and ensure a positive online reputation.
2. Ants are experts at communicating key messages. Their messages are clear, simple and consistent to get their point across and influence others:
We know where food
We need to build a nest
We need to protect the nest
Don’t just post random content in social media. Plan the key messages that you want to communicate to your potential and current customers and build your content to deliver on those messages to successfully create the desired perception of your brand online
3. Word of mouth is ants most powerful way to communicate. Well in the case of ants their word of mouth consists of a scent trail they leave to tell other ants where the food is. The same applies to social media as your online presence and engagement creates a trail that can either lead new customers to you, or defer them away to a competitor.
4.A female Queen ant is the strongest influencer in the nest and most decisions are made in consideration of her needs. You might be targeting sales of your product or service to a male audience, though never discount the influence a female in their household is having on the purchase decision. When planning and creating your social media content, think beyond the specific end customer and how you might target social media content to other influencers in their purchase decision.
5. Ants build colonies and work together to grow their colony. By nurturing your social media community and encouraging them to collaborate with you, your loyal customers will help you build a successful social media presence by creating and sharing their own content about your business.
Next time you see an ants nest, stir it up a little and stand back and watch how quickly the ants communicate and leap into action, and you will might just gain a little insight to the power of social media marketing for your business.