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Turning Customers Into Passionate Brand Fans

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Entertainers have always known that fans long for a personal connection with them. The more an artist can provide a behind the curtain experience the more people will become passionate fans who attend movies, watch TV shows, see concerts, download music and tell their friends. The other secret artists intuitively understand is that people like to share experiences with others who have the same interests.

Social media provides unique opportunities for brands to emulate the arts. Social platforms provide ways to connect employees, who are the heart of the brand, with their audiences. It also allows for the creation of digital events and communities that bring customers together to tell their unique stories about your brands.

On the surface, social media appears fairly simple. Drop a tweet, write a status update, post a video on YouTube. How hard can that be if middle school kids are doing it? Don’t let the ease of the technology fool you into the illusion using social media as a business tactic is child’s play. Incorporating social media into your master plan requires a sophisticated approach that is integrated, monitored and flexible to respond to market opportunities.

The digital brand experience frequently opens the door to a world where our customers collide with business units that have long been silo-ed within organizations (customer service to marketing, public relations, sales and beyond). To succeed a social marketing strategy must begin with aligning the enterprise. The first step takes into account the concerns and social interaction of the people who have contact (both actively and passively) with your customers.

Experience has taught us that while a step into the social web may initially increase awareness, the challenge of consistently extending and maintaining the goodwill of an organization’s online reputation through digital conversations is based on how well the details are managed.

  • Identify your target audience/s
  • Understand your target audience’s social media expectations
  • Understand the culture of each platform where your customers participate
  • Take into consideration how social media will impact resources: people, time, money and internal processes
  • Ensure social media tactics are integrated and supportive of business goals/objectives, as well as, current marketing, branding.
  • Determine measurements of success which may be quantitative or qualitative
  • Develop an outreach initiative for each social media initiative because they will not come unless you tell them.
  • Approach all social media initiatives from the point of view of social media ethics and values: Honesty, Authenticity, Transparency and Passion.

The corporate path may be more complex than the artist’s, but when the house lights go out success remains the same .. did we turn our customers into passionate brand fans?

Toby Bloomberg is recognized for her expertise in combining social media with traditional marketing values such as strategy, customer insights, segmentation, etc. You can find her at Diva Marketing and @tobydiva.


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