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NMOA Direct Marketing Article
Nostalgia: The New Golden Nugget of Social Media
By Genae Girard

Michael owns a bakery that has recently started using social media. He decided to get on board and try to build his following through Facebook and Twitter, yet consumers that "Like" his Facebook page keep dropping off. He has been posting facts about his business including specials and new products with limited success. Michael knows that Social Media is important to grow his business, but is confused about consumers jumping ship. How can Michael keep his customers engaged so that he can continue to build his social media following?

There is a new goldmine in social media that more companies are discovering. That treasure consists of a doorway that bridges the gap between your brand and the consumer. That gold nugget is nostalgia. That's right, talking about the yesteryears creates that warm fuzzy feeling conjuring up images of childhood, fun and remembrances of a less fast-paced hectic life. In this world of constant change where we are bombarded by texting, e-mails and other forms of marketing, we long for the less complicated times of hot dogs, baseball and apple pie.

At social gatherings you often hear of people bringing up childhood games, toys or food with great joy and camaraderie. An old Radio Flyer wagon, or grandmother sneaking them a brownie before dinner brings a broad smile and instant conversation. Why not use that joy to your marketing advantage? When used properly, nostalgia can be the social media glue between you and your consumer. Here are some tips on how to use nostalgia for your advantage:

Dos
-Pick topics that are directly relatable to your demographic. For example, if your consumer base grew up in the 80s, pick topics directly relatable to that timetable including music, social references or trends.

-Ask open-ended questions about the history of your group to get them talking about fond moments in their lives. This can be as simple as asking the question, " What was your favorite song in the 80s?"

-Get creative. If you are in the grocery industry, try talking about the fact that you remember when generic cans were black and white. If you are in the communications industry, try talking about when cell phones were the size of a bread machine.

-Keep it light and humorous. People like to laugh. Humor wins their hearts and their buying habits. Often in social media, consumers are surfing Facebook or Twitter in their spare time. A break of laughter endears your brand to them.

-Be a listener. As your consumer base responds, keep notes on what topics get the most discussion responses. Note them in a file and use them to your advantage. Use responses to tailor future posts as well as your marketing materials.

Don'ts
-Never pass judgment on responses to your posts. Let them unfold organically and you will be amazed at the creativity people use to get involved in the discussion.

-Never talk about historical events like politics or religion that could spark too much negative debate.

-If you are missing the creative gene, don't be in charge of creating the posts. Determine the focus and overall content and have someone on your staff who is creative be in charge of posting.

Need a source of information and inspiration? United Online, Inc. has launched MemoryLane.com, the largest archive of nostalgic content on the Internet. This website allows visitors to relive the past with over 100 million pieces of content dating from 1940 through 1999.

Using the tools out lined above will develop the dialog between you and the group and endear your customer to your brand by bringing to the forefront topics that they miss from their past. Echo their history, warm their heart and solidify your brand.

About the Author:
Genae Girard is a speaker, author and entrepreneur. She is the founder of www.BeyondtheBoobieTrap.com, an online social media tribe of over 18,500 breast cancer survivors and regularly speaks on the topics of women in leadership and building a tribe. She is also the author of "Off the Rack: Chronicles of a Thirty-Something, Single, Breast Cancer Survivor." For inquiries email: info@BeyondtheBoobieTrap.com or call 512-796-1618.
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