Dialogue in Digital Media
Every effective social media campaign begins with one thing – dialogue. “Theologian Martin Buber is considered by most to be the father of the modern concept of dialogue. Buber suggested that dialogue involves an effort to recognize the value of the other—to see him/her as an end and not merely as a means to achieving a desired goal. Buber suggested that individuals should view others not as objects— the “I You,” but as equals—the “I Thou.” Buber’s work is based on reciprocity, mutuality, involvement, and openness” (Kent, Michael and Taylor, Maureen. Toward a dialogic theory of public relations. 2001).
When analyzing companies in today’s society that effectively personify the quote above through digital and social media, organizations that focus heavily on consumer feedback come to mind. The premise of the model is to have open communication with your public and use the information received from them to enhance your company or a certain product. In today’s technological world, innovations in communication have led many users and stakeholders to social media channels. Founded in 1993, Match.com does an efficient job of highlighting the stories and thoughts of their clients to sell their brand through digital and social media to its stakeholders, public and consumers.
“A theoretical shift—from public relations reflecting an emphasis on managing communication to an emphasis on communication as a tool for negotiating relationships has been taking place for some time” (Toward a dialogic theory of public relations. Kent, Michael and Taylor, Maureen. 2001). The central focus of Match.com’s marketing is not to manage or manipulate a message about online dating to the world, but to create a platform for discussion about voids others have experienced in the dating world and showcase how Match can fill those voids, oftentimes through social media. The company creates a relatable element through intercept interviews with average citizens on the street, which draws prospective customers.
Take this FB post for example from the company. Who hasn’t experienced someone rejecting them for a date? Match.com builds that connection through an experience that many can relate to and succeeds in analytical engagement due to this strategy. The post garnered a whopping 161 likes, with more than 101 comments.
During a 2015 Match.com commercial that is featured on the company’s social media, the host asks two women why they are apprehensive about online dating. One of the women tells the host that she likes meeting people in person. This dialogue achieves two important goals in successful marketing: overcoming the objections for a sale and creating dialogue around the company. This is what keeps Match.com succeeding in the digital world.
Match.com is also aware of its target audience. Each of the posts feature singles or people that have met via match from a certain age group. While the demographics vary, each of the people featured had one goal in common, which was to find love. The company understands this goal and creates different scenarios to show customers achieving that goal. It knows the audience it is striving to reach.
The company utilizes each social media channel available to its advantage. Dating and showcasing enthusiastic people meeting due to the Match.com organization is a visual action. This means that social media channels that are visualize play well for the company. Therefore, much of its content is geared toward Youtube, Instagram and Facebook. There would not be much need for an exorbitant amount of posts on LinkedIn because of the company type and the dating organization understands the difference between there channels.
“As companies look to maximize returns from their social strategies, they can both encourage would-be customers to engage in more social interactions and inspire more influencers to express enthusiasm for their products” (Bughin, Jacques. Getting a Sharper Picture of Social Media’s Influence. 2015. McKinsey Quarterly). By highlighting influencers who can attest to meeting a partner online through Match.com on its social media platforms, the company is helping garner a positive reputation throughout the world of digital and traditional media.
Kent, Michael and Taylor, Maureen. Toward a dialogic theory of public relations. 2001
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