We all want to be happy. Husbands want their wives to be happy, parents want their children to be happy and dogs want their humans to be happy. And you, a fantastic PR pro, want your audience to be happy. In 1998, Martin Seligman was the president of the American Psychologists Association. His most notable study was on positive psychology, a practice that assists people in leading a happier life. Seligman designed criteria that served as a guide to help people achieve happiness. The same principles can also be used to make your audience happy with you and your company.
One of the best ways to make your audiences happy is to help them build and maintain a healthy relationship with your company. I’m talking about a John Krasinski and Emily Blunt relationship level of good. Just as a quality relationship is better for your happiness, it benefits you to have a quality relationship with your audience or key public. There are several different ways to create and maintain a good consumer relationship.
- Engage with them on social media. JetBlue is an excellent example of this. Most of the company’s Twitter feed is the company’s responses to consumer tweets. They take the time to interact with the consumers that took time to tweet at them, whether it’s a positive or negative remark. I don’t know about you but I would feel valued if I got a response to my tweet. Wendy’s is also a great example of engaging consumers on social media. Wendy’s has revamped its Twitter feedto match the style and humor of its most frequent customers—millennials. The savage sass of its Twitter feed has not only gone viral but also won many consumers over. These principles can be applied to all platforms of social media.
- Invite feedback. We all like to be heard and feel like our opinions are valid. This is especially true of your consumers. As you invite and act upon feedback, within reason, you will build your reputation amongst your consumers. Domino’s Pizza took this idea and turned it into a whole campaign. With online videos, commercials and even a live feedback tracker posted on Domino’s website, the company showed that it put its consumer first.
In most cases, a happy consumer will spend time posting about your company. A pleased consumer will start telling his friends about a company. Approximately 84 percent of customers make purchase decisions based on the recommendations their friends make. Uber has mastered the art of consumer engagement. Currently, the company will offer incentives to its riders in exchange for social media shares. For the Super Bowl this year, Uber offered free rides to the losing team’s city. Due to engagement boosters like these, Uber now has 75 million passengers.
Another way to boost engagement is to have multiple places where your consumer can engage with your company. Social media, traditional media and personalized emails are just the tip of the iceberg in this matter. It’s important to keep in mind that the constant stream of news in our society has resulted in people having shortened attention spans. Time magazine wrote that 55 percent of users only stay on a page for 15 seconds. The more often consumers see your company during those quick seconds, the more likely they are to remember you.
A study done by Cone Communications found that nine in 10 millennials will switch brands to one associated with a cause and 30 percent of Americans will share positive information about companies that support issues they care about. You want those people! There are many examples of companies who strengthened consumer relations by supporting a social, environmental or political issue. Note that each of these companies took a stand on an issue that made sense for them.
- Barbie’s mother company recently started a campaign called “Closing the dream gap.” It is about helping young girls maintain a healthy self-image. It’s also about gender equality. But instead of getting caught up in debates about equal pay, Mattel seeks to help women of all ages find confidence and keep it.
- Burt’s Bees. This beauty company has an entire page on its website dedicated to its different outreach programs. Much of the company’s outreach centers on human and environmental health.
- In response to President Trump’s travel ban the home-sharing site aired its #WeAccept commercial during the Super Bowl LI. The message of the campaign was “we believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”
So, do you have happy consumers? When you have them, you will generate a greater return on the time and money that you put into those relationships. You’ll have a more loyal audience to your brand and an audience that will spread the word. Use these tips and be a positive psychology PR professional.
Monica Chabot is in her first of three years at Brigham Young University. She is the wife of a pretty cool guy and mother to several fake plants. She enjoys dancing when she has time and napping when she should be doing something else. Her favorite movie is anything set in New Zealand and she currently resides in Orem, Utah.