The Brand Follower Relationship is the modern day Love Story.
Social media has enabled the breakdown of walls between brands and consumers, so a true relationship can develop packed with emotion, trust and love. No longer can Brands push out their one-way communications to their consumers. Consumers expect to be seen, heard and listened to… in short, acknowledged. They want to be actively involved in the brand story and the conversations; they want to contribute but they need a good reason to do so. It’s not enough to just start a brand page, your brand must regularly engage its social media followers consistently with its <a< span=””> title=”Brand Voice: How to Create It. Build It. Maintain It.” href=”http://www.3h.ca/blog/branding/brand-voice-the-how-to/”>Brand Voice – always exercising new and creative ways to speak to followers… and engage them.
Since each social media platform is different, the way people engage is going to be different as well. Here are a few ways you can engage successfully with followers and keep your Brand Follower relationship strong on Facebook Pages, Twitter and Pinterest.
- Build momentum: Run contests. Running a contest won’t only increase the number of followers a brand has but it will keep current followers engaged and excited. Keep the buzz and momentum going by asking questions and generating content that revolves around the brand and the contest. Don’t just let the contest live on its on – make a lot of noise about it! Use Facebook ads to reach your demographic profile… and remember to further focus your efforts with the use of psychographics!
- Build a following: Get “Likes”. Followers want quick and easy ways to interact with brands. Asking them to “Like” a post is as quick as it gets but it still generates stories and gets the word out. Similar to commenting, when followers “Like” a post, it will show up on their friends’ news feeds giving your post the opportunity to go viral.
- Be Authentic: Keep it real. Followers don’t want to be sold to on Facebook. They follow a brand page because they are already sold on that brand and they are most likely already loyal customers. Speak with them not to them and don’t use traditional marketing speak. Finding a voice for your brand, an authentic voice, is essential to successfully engaging followers on Facebook
- Keep talking: Talk to followers. Follow them back. Retweet them. Listen to them. It’s a sure way to keep them engaged and interested. The lifespan of a tweet is generally a few seconds, making them a thing of the past almost instantly, but if your brand acknowledges a follower’s tweet it adds value and gives them a reason to keep following and engaging with your brand.
- Generate excitement: Run contests. Twitter is great for running impromptu contests. It’s a quick and fun way to keep followers on their toes. Offer a free giveaway by asking them to tweet an answer or retweet a tweet or ask them to help you reach a certain follower milestone for a chance to win a prize.
- Just ask: Asking followers to retweet, mention or just help get the word out about a brand generally works very well. Communication is key – ask and you shall receive. Again, it’s a simple way but an effective way to engage with a brand and followers are quick to jump on board.
- Visual Momentum: Run Contests. Pinterest is a great place to run visual contests. Asking followers to create boards or repin a pin is an effective way to not only get your content out there , gain new followers and of course, to engage with existing followers.
- Give control: By allowing followers to create boards on your Pinterest profile, followers feel like they are contributing, again, to the brand story. It’s also a great way for a brand to diversify its content. A brand can also ask followers to share its content on Twitter and Facebook, creating a cross-platform campaign that generates engagement throughout a brand’s social media presence.
- Be exclusive: Pinterest is a great for a visual brand to get their followers engaged by giving them exclusive looks into the brand – a “behind-the-scenes”. Think about using Pinterest and the idea of exclusivity to run focus groups. For example, showing followers a product redesign on Pinterest before they see it anywhere else and asking for their input by commenting or repining can show followers and consumers that their input really matters to your brand.
Starting a social media platform can be a significant milestone for a Brand, but it involves more than just opening a new account or starting a new brand page on Facebook. Be sure to develop a holistic strategy and employ all the channels available in social media. Knowing the tactics and using the platform isn’t enough. Plus, like any other valuable relationship, the Brand Follower relationship needs work, passion and communication to endure and remain strong at heart.
Do you have a complete social media strategy with a strong Brand Follower relationship? Share what has worked and what hasn’t for your Brand and your followers.