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Fan Favorites Can Energize Your Social Network
Posted on January 31st 2013
Before you can effectively utilize social media marketing and social networking to brand and market your business, you must first take steps to create a base of energized followers. Create a solid base of vital followers and you have the foundation for building a free and viral marketing system -- one that works 24/7 to help build your brand and sell products and services.
Creating an engaged following starts at the top. With you. When you believe in your product and services, are enthusiastic about what it/they can do, that spirit flows down not only to employees, but people with whom that spirit resonates. They'll eventually jump on your bandwagon with other eager followers. These loyal fan bases freely market for companies they're encouraged to follow, reaching out with word of mouth marketing to friends, family and co-workers on a regular basis. They are effectively doing more to refer business to their favorite companies than most paid advertising.
Here's just a few things engaged followers can do:
* Refer favorite companies, and people they follow, to others.
* Offer suggestions and useful comments.
* Be willing to stand up for a company, refute bad or questionable comments and/or reviews.
* Accept rises in product price; buy new products.
* Help create and launch new products.
What can you do to develop an audience of passionate followers?
1. Know your audience
First you must develop an audience for your product and services. To do that, it's necessary to determine who your audience is. Start by asking yourself these questions:
* Who uses my product most?
* Why do they use it?
* How often do they use it?
* Where are they currently purchasing the product or info?
* What type of social sites or websites are they visiting?
* What are their interests, hobbies?
Know your audience and you can relate to and engage them. When you know what they need, you can better market to them.
2. Engage your audience by posting stories and comments about battles you've won or lost.
Once you know your audience, it's essential to create focused posts and comments which resonate with them.
Tell personal stories of family or biz problems; faith lost and found; missed, failed, overlooked goals; serious health issues.
Remember to show how you eventually successfully rose from the ashes. Talk about what you learned. How these situations helped you move forward or move on. How your situation - good or bad - helped others.
When followers read your stories and comments, focused on similar scenarios and problems your audience may be facing, they bring them closer to you.
Provide before and after photos, videos and audio to further engage them.
3. Provide helpful information, tips, case histories, links to resources, articles specifically targeted to your audience.
Refer them to free, or nearly free, tools you use or know work, or useful tools they may be unaware of or can't locate. The fact is, your targeted audience will always be searching for information and tools. Provide them and you'll go a long way to keeping them engaged and following you.
Find interesting stories within your niche before anyone else. Regularly comment on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, for example. Add links to valuable articles.
4. Show your audience the human person behind the product or service.
While social networking is the top way people relate today, it's important to present the human face of your business. Since it's highly unlikely most fans and followers will meet you, it's important to show them through words, photos, videos which show actions, plus provide useful content, that you are - indeed - a positive life force.
Communicate in an inspirational way. Inspire others and you'll end up with better, more loyal, followers. Craft your posts and messages to read as if they were personally sent to each individual follower.
Be authentic. Don't fake it. Be yourself. Be polite. Remember your social etiquette.
5. Read comments and show you're listening by responding.
Regularly read comments and posts followers make, and...
1. They will provide you valuable feedback for future posts.
2. You will show your audience you're listening and that you care.
3. It will help you stay on top of things, quickly respond to negative or potentially problematic comments.
4. It will keep you connected.
5. It can help you develop new products or services.
Nothing makes a follower feel better than being acknowledged — or better yet, honored — by their favorite brand. Is there a way to offer kudos to your loyal fans? If so, make it happen.
One of the most important things about developing fan bases and loyal followers is taking time to engage on a regular basis. Don't engage twice in a week, then desert them for weeks. Stay connected and in return they'll stay connected to you and your brand.
And very importantly,when you are passionate about your brand, know your audience, listen and do your part to engage them, they will stay loyal. Become an awesome fan base you can regularly market to and profit from.