Social media is a place where we gather to share, connect, network, debate, and learn and find inspiration and solace with like-minded people. However, far too many brands and individuals forget the golden rule when it comes to social media, and that is — empathy is crucial! Without empathy, you will not engage or connect with your audience. Empathy is something that cannot be faked, bought, or sold; it must come from the heart with authenticity if it is to reach out and connect with millions. Both Dr. Nicolas Slenkovich and Dr. Katharine Roxanne Grawe are fully committed to the belief that empathy is crucial on social media and kindly agreed to share with us why.
“Empathy is one of those buzzwords that everyone knows, but few understand its practical use and its inherent power,” explained Dr. Nicolas Slenkovich, before adding, “The internet is a great place. But let’s be realistic, it’s a saturated marketplace, and that applies ten-fold to social media, where countless brands rush to in an attempt to build a customer base. The mistake they make time and time again is to believe that a catchy slogan, some witty content, and a few snappy pictures based on their market research can create an empathetic bond with their targeted market. It won’t! You may foster the illusion of empathy, but people will see that it’s not the real deal and move on to the next glittery thing. For empathy to work on social media, you’ve got to have someone who understands your audience. Someone who thinks like them and lives like them. Once that’s in place, you’ll hit the bullseye every single time.”
It’s a strategy with which Dr. Katharine Roxanne Grawe wholeheartedly agrees. Although coming from a radically different background than Dr. Nicolas Slenkovich, Dr. Katharine Roxanne Grawe shares their faith in the ability of empathy on social media to pay huge dividends. Dr. Katharine Roxanne Grawe explained, “Branded social media marketing responses can leave the audience cold. They often sound too corporate and too impersonal. People on social media are looking for someone who gets them, someone who understands them, and someone they can identify with. This rings as true for brands as it does for individuals. Empathy is all about building trust and forging relationships that go the distance. In essence, empathy is the glue that binds.”
As two individuals who practice what they preach daily in their personal and professional lives, Dr. Nicolas Slenkovich and Dr. Katharine Roxanne Grawe have seen how empathy on social media has a momentum of its own. They revealed, “We were both talking just the other day how empathy on social media is like a seed planted in the most fertile soil. Once it starts growing, it’ll take on a life of its own and branch off into the most unusual but rewarding directions.”