I was recently asked by long-time client, Travel Wisconsin to put together a breakout session on social media for the 2014 Governor’s Small Business Summit. A social media breakout session is always a tall order because inevitably you have an audience that spans novice to expert. Unknowingly, I found myself approaching the deck through Aristotle’s three methods of persuasion: ethos, pathos and logos. (Tangential history lesson: Some 2,400 years after Aristotle’s death, these principles are still the backbone of oral and written communication.) Plainly defined:
- Ethos: An appeal to the authority or credibility of the presenter
- Pathos: An appeal to the audience’s emotions
- Logos: An appeal to the audience’s logic
Every summer from age 16 into my college years I worked at my father’s lawn and landscape company answering phones and processing. I was able to see the inner workings of a small business and relied on this anecdote to establish credibility alongside my 6+ years of experience working in social media for Laughlin Constable.
I kicked things off with a simple premise: Customers are far from rational. Most people lack the motivation, time, or information to make a purchase decision based on function alone, so they rely on other factors, factors they might not even be consciously aware of: emotions. For example someone might feel safe in a Volvo, energetic while drinking a Coke or excited in a BMW. At the end of the day people are emotional creatures and therein lies the benefit of social media: a relationship building tool.
Let me tell you, humans as irrational creatures wasn’t a tough sell on a crowd of small business owners, but to appeal to logic I shared a few compelling stats laddering into the question of “Why Social Media?”
- 53% of consumers report that they will purchase a brand’s product or services after following them on Facebook
- 47% of consumers are more likely to visit a brand’s website and 35% are more likely to buy from a brand after following them on Twitter
- 21% of Pinterest users have purchased something they found on the site
With the stage set I took the audience though Laughlin’s 3-step approach to social media strategy: plan, build and engage. We talked content creation, channel management, reporting, social advertising and beyond. At the end of the day I was reminded of the need for agencies to ruthlessly simplify. Put it into laymen’s terms. Provide a visual. Read the room and rely on your principles of persuasion.
Sources: Twitter, The Next Web, Gallup