Know Your Fan, Grow Your Brand!

By Roly Gonzalez A brand often reaches a point where its fans/followers start interacting after a new social media account has launched. Fans might even provide a lighthearted joke or two, attempting to introduce a bit of levity and humanity into the conversation. As a someone who manages the brand's page, you can:

A)     Delete the jokes. You're not having ANY fun on this page, EVER!

B)      Chuckle to yourself and go work on the report you have due in 5 minutes.

C)      Acknowledge the joke and make sure to create a genuine moment of entertainment on your page.

Your answer should be C. It's important to acknowledge and respond accordingly to your fans/followers. While people have willingly liked your page because of a connection or relationship with the brand, what’s going to keep them there is the consistent belief of value coming from your brand’s page.

How do you create value? It all starts by understanding your consumer. Once you get someone to connect with you on social networking sites, you have to cultivate the connection to turn it into an ongoing relationship. This ongoing relationship can benefit not only engagement on your social media profiles but also create brand ambassadors to promote your product with credibility among their friends and family. As you know, increased awareness leads to an increase in interest and, hopefully, in sales.

For example, Taco Bell on Twitter is fun, witty, irreverent and totally in line with who their fans are. (See: 5 Ways Taco Bell is Killing it with Social Media.) Their content is a mix of user generated content and content promoting Taco Bell in fun ways. Taco Bell has been able to user their continued knowledge of their fans (through the content their fans post and how they interact with Taco Bell) to ensure the content the post enhances the fan experience. (Read more about their Social Strategy here.) Also, by retweeting fan content from the official Taco Bell profile, they show appreciation for the customer relationship. Taco Bell has used genuine connection tactics to not only be a part of the joke but to also lead the conversation about their brand.

I know what you must be thinking right now. “Taco Bell is synonymous with fun. My brand is about other things. It's not necessarily 'fun'”. Remember, there are different types of “fun”. While you don’t have to be fun, what you must do is be genuine and authentic to your brand. Stay true to who and what your brand is and build your social identity around that. That genuine nature will resonate with fans allowing you to engage with them and get to know them.

How do you get to know your fans? By active listening. Some of this is going to be trial and error as you learn what content works and what doesn’t. Do your fans respond to pictures with your logo on it? Do fans engage with polls? Don’t be afraid to have a post (or three) that don’t get as high engagement. It’s all learning. Also, don’t be afraid to actually ASK your fans what they’d like to see. Honesty and transparency go a long way in building a genuine, credible relationship on social media.

No matter where you are in the life cycle of your social media profile (e.g. beginning the page, moderate growth, or prime time player), there is always room to know more about your fans to make any interaction they have with your brand an amazing one.

What’s one thing you’ll do to get to know your fans?