The conventional marketing paradigm—your brand speaking to customers—has shifted. Today, it’s a conversation, and consumers hold the reigns. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow customers to talk about your brand in new ways. They can like, share, and bring in thousands of new followers. They’re not just your customers, they’re your fans—and giving them the tools they need is what’s going to sell your brand.
Market like a rock star
|“They see [that] their fans are special people who are helping them promote and extend their brand, so they openly embrace their fans’ existing efforts and look for ways to have a deeper connection with them.”|
“This is something that rock stars have always understood,” says Mack Collier in his book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans. “They view their fans as marketing partners. They see [that] their fans are special people who are helping them promote and extend their brand, so they openly embrace their fans’ existing efforts and look for ways to have a deeper connection with them.”
Transparency is what makes these new marketing strategies successful. Consumers today are wary of traditional advertising and more difficult to convince. They want to connect and converse with “real people” because it brings authenticity and credibility to the table. Let your fans do your talking for you, but first start the conversation and help them tell your story.
Be everywhere. First, start the conversation in different places by telling your story on multiple platforms. Let your fans immerse themselves in your brand vision and culture so it becomes a living, breathing thing for them. Remember, a brand with a personality is relatable—the more your content showcases that personality, the greater authenticity you put forth.
Listen. Give your brand voice a rest, and put your fans’ stories in the spotlight. Make it about them, and let their sentiments speak for the brand. Not only is this crucial for fostering a sense of community, it’s also an opportunity to do a little social listening and track brand sentiment. After all, great relationships start with great listening.
Reward. The most important thing is to show your fans they’re appreciated. It could be as simple as sending a “Thanks for sharing!” reply or providing exclusive offers and previews to top fans. For a special treat, you could fly a fan out for a major sporting event or amplify their original content to your larger audience.
The point is, today your fans are your greatest marketers. That’s why it’s important to foster a fan base that can continue to grow and sustain excitement for your brand. So develop your brand personality, listen to what your fans have to say, and thank them for all they do—that’s how you turn consumers into fans and fans into marketers.