Brands all over the world are hopping onto the social media ‘brandwagon’. For some, it is called strategy; the others, it is simply because it is ‘the thing’ to do. How successful are these brands? Are they influential enough to command attention?
Or rather, Who is influential?
An interesting question? I would think so myself. The thought came to me very recently when I was looking at various social media marketing campaigns – I saw how successful brands got their fans together through various promotions, facilitate discussions, interacting with fans and etc.. basically all the good stuff. However, who empowers the brand? Is it the social media manager behind the fan page? The brand? Or is it the fans?
I suggest it’s the latter.
A brand can only be as influential its followers can get. Look at it this way – a ‘successful’ brand on social media usually has high engagement with their followers. What if the followers do not respond? Does this affect the brand’s influence?
This can only mean one thing – it all revolves around the followers. Your brand may have the best offer and content but if the message is delivered to thin air (not responsive followers), nothing is going to happen.
What to do?
#1: Understand their influence
Sure, you have 100,000 fans but the threat of substitution remains high especially on social media networks. Followers can unfollow at will OR follow multiple competitors at one go – in fact, some argue that brand loyalty is dead with social media.
#2: Respect their influence
Take genuine interest in them beyond just numbers. Take the effort to talk to them individually whenever possible and respond to their conversations and feedbacks – both good and bad.
#3: Reward their influence
Every brand will have extraordinary fans. Some call them brand champions – fans that have been there since Day 1, fans that have been following your updates, fans that have been commenting and interacting often with your brand and fans that have been sharing your content with their friends. These fans are a gem! Look for opportunities to reward them e.g. a special feature of the month, freebies, exclusive passes and etc – every bit counts!