Early February PING Helsinki was invited to London to represent our community at the Facebook Communities Summit, hosted by the social network to engage with the community leaders and learn about issues the communities face while managing their groups, pages and events. The summit reinforced what we at PING already consider to be the future of digital marketing – the importance of togetherness and Human to Human strategy.
Community activity in Facebook makes up a prominent chunk of its usage. The communities unite people of similar interests and backgrounds facing similar challenges, coming together to help each other, share their lives and give advice. Facebook has understood that communities need and require more attention and support, which is why countless different groups and communities came together in London. The summit reminded the PING team what the strength of PING really is: the community behind us. And the power of community lies in togetherness and common understanding.
We at PING are trying to incorporate common understanding into marketing more efficiently, thus moving away from terms such as influencer, customer or consumer. The goal is to approach people firstly as human beings. This is the key to Human to Human marketing. We concentrate on personalities, strengths, compassion and empathy as the catalyst to build relationships that are meaningful and trustworthy.
There is a reason for influencer marketing being so successful in the last years, and in our opinion it is the people themselves. We think that it is much more natural to trust the people we relate to than anonymous product advertising or even traditional celebrity advertising. We will always rather buy something our best friend recommends or people of similar interests to us like, than a product praised by a company or a brand. Therefore it is important to not only put a personal touch to your marketing strategy, but also to humanize your company’s environment and message.
People trust their peers, which is why creating a community rather than a customer base is the ultimate goal to strive for. It’s all about connecting with each other. Working with influencers will give brands the most genuine way to connect with those who end up being their customers.
We tend to be struck by amazement of the newest developments in technology and its possibilities, but in this digital age it is important to not get lost in the magic of technical advancement. We at PING have made it our mission to go back to what we are: humans, not robots. And humans feel at home in communities.
Facebook has publicly taken the spotlight away from brand content to give a platform to the content we actually want to see on the site. Now by following people we like and admire we actively decide to see their content. While Facebook has aggravated many companies with this move, it has also given them an opportunity to rethink their strategies and discover opportunities that lie within this change. This is a good chance to go back to what marketing used to be, namely a social network.