Four Ways to Honor Your Fans

Jun 04, 2013 admin


At the end of the day, behind any strong brand are fans. In sports, fans can boost a team during playoffs or tear them apart during a losing streak. In business, fans can play a similar role, either driving customer loyalty or negatively impacting a brand’s reputation. From time to time, a company can forget the value of an individual fan when looking at the high-level picture of increasing their profits. By taking a grassroots approach and recognizing the value of each and every individual fan, your company will see sustained growth year to year. Here are four ways to increase engagement with customers and grow your business.

  1. Put the spotlight on individual brand ambassadors. I attended the PRSA Boston Social Media summit a few weeks ago. During a presentation, Dunkin’ Donuts’ marketing team mentioned the “Fan of the Week” program they started in 2009. They asked fans to post a picture of themselves with their coffee to the Dunkin’ Donuts Facebook page, and chosen fans were featured on Facebook for one week. Dunkin’ Donuts reported increased fan engagement on social media sites and recognized individual fans as a driving factor behind the program’s success.
  2. Ensure your response times on social media are fast. Social media sites offer opportunities for brands to connect with their fans through a two-way street of communication. Recently, a New York Times article reported that the average value of a Facebook fan is $174.17, meaning that engaging fans on Facebook can directly lead to revenue growth. When fans post comments and questions on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, your social media team should be ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Social media outlets are a way for your fans to interact directly with your brand and when left unanswered, these fans can feel there is a lack of purpose behind your social media page.
  3. Use contests to engage. Contests can reward fans for their brand loyalty. Companies can create contests through social media platforms, mail-in forms or even text-to-enter formats. A great example of a company that utilizes contests is one of our clients, Hailo, an app for mobile phones that connects you to taxi drivers in your city. On Hailo’s Facebook and Twitter pages, they are constantly engaging users through contests, offering free coupons for rides and tickets to some of the city’s hottest events. Aside from generating brand loyalty, contests can also create opportunities for companies to reach out to the media and create buzz throughout the community.
  4. Listen to your fans. Companies spend thousands of dollars on surveys for insight on the public’s perception of their brand. Social media sites offer free opportunities to get feedback and advice from customers. Should fans (or foes) offer their opinion, companies should respond —either online or offline—and incorporate the feedback into their marketing strategy. The ability to incorporate real-time feedback will lead to the longevity of your brand.

Treat your fans like the brand ambassadors they are. Studies prove the strength of brand acceptance through word-of-mouth recommendations between friends. Show that you like them, and hopefully they will like you back.

Topics: Public Relations, Twitter, Facebook, Social Media

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