Turn Your Social Media Brand Ambassadors into Super Fans
Why would your brand want to cultivate Super Fans, Brand Advocates, and Brand Ambassadors? This is probably a no brainer of a question for most Social Media and Marketing professionals. Super Fans, Brand Advocates, and Brand Ambassadors all provide authentic third party endorsements. Third party endorsements are the leading way individuals are swayed to choose your brand. “When taking the advice of others, you're getting what's called in the marketing industry a "third-party endorsement" (TPE) and it's one of the most powerful forces in the universe for anyone marketing a product.” -MSN Money The question is how do you take your Super Fans, Brand Evangelists, and fanboys and get them to continue to interact, engage, and spread the marketing messages that will help your brand go and reach more potential customers, clients, donors, and fans?
Here at SocialToaster, we are obsessed about making it easy for our clients to build networks of Super Fans for their brand, if you’re interested in getting started on building your brand loyalists, or just want some darn good customer relations advice, check out these ten tips below on how to start converting your current Brand Ambassadors into Super Fans.
Tip 1 - Create a strong campaign to find brand ambassadors
Start with the end in mind. If you’re going to select a few chosen warriors, you’re going to need to cultivate a recruitment pool. Why else would X-Men have a mutant academy? Start with a strong campaign that’s focused on identifying brand ambassadors. This campaign could take the shape of a Facebook contest that rewards users that share the contest with more entries into the winners pool, or a loyalty program that offers discounts towards future purchases. The campaign is really up to your company and what makes the most sense for your brand. Once the campaign is launched, sit back and wait for the Brand Ambassadors to appear. Hint: they’re going to be the ones with a gazillion entries while everyone else has three.
Tip 2 - Give your Brand Ambassadors a reason to become a Super Fan
Once you have your pool of Brand Ambassadors all lined up, you need to give them a reason to take that leap from being a casual Brand Ambassador to a full on Super Fan. The easiest way to do this - besides giving them super powers - is to offer a reward or incentive (like exclusive content) for joining your Super Fan program. Discounts towards future purchases, or private opportunities only open to Super Fans can go a long way to encourage “would-be” Super Fans to convert. Take a cue from Quicken Loans (proud SocialToaster partner) and build some buzz around your program by showing your potential Super Fans why it pays to be a part of the program while building excitement for the cause. Remember everyone wants to feel special. Figure out ways in which your fans can feel like part of the team.
Tip 3 - Provide great content they want to share
If you’re lucky enough to have fans that want to tell the world about you, do yourself a favor and make yourself worth talking about. Do not send off random pieces of dull content, no one cares that you just got your office carpets steamed cleaned. Produce interesting content that individuals want to share with their networks and will be valuable or interesting to their friends. Remember, the first question people ask themselves before sharing a piece of content is, “will my network find this interesting or valuable?” Clever infographics, smartly written articles and amazing photographs are all examples of prime content. If you set up your Super Fans to look like heroes to their social networks, they’ll make your company look like the Justice League.
Tip 4 - Make it super easy for them to share
Now that your Super Fans are jazzed to earn that great reward (“OMG, a chance to share waffles with Don Draper!”) and you’ve provided them with access to amazing content, you want to do everything in your power to make sharing that content as easy. If it takes longer than two clicks for a Super Fan to share that cool new infographic you created on Marvel comics, you might as well not even bother creating it. No one is going to sit through a 30 minute click-fest to share anything, no matter how awesome that Don Draper waffle is going to taste.
Here’s a special tip: If you are only sharing Super Fan content on Twitter and Facebook you may be doing yourself a disservice. These networks are time-based, which means if your fans aren’t online when you share it there is a good chance they won’t see it. Think about combining email to drive Super Fan content where it is more likely to be seen by your wider audience. SocialToaster sends Super Fans your best status updates to their inbox and allows Super Fans to share on all of their social networks with one-click. Results are showing that 60% of Super Fans share the content they receive...every time. Crazy right?!
Tip 5 - Create competition with a leader board
A little friendly rivalry can go a long way to producing results from your Super Fan program. A public leaderboard can tap into a Super Fan’s inner drive and motivate them to step up their game. Sure they might not have played football in high school, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be the quarterback. Leaderboards add a level of gamification to your Super Fan program. Individuals can see where they rank and work to improve their ranking to stay on top of the dog pile. Take it to the next level by tying in ranking based reward incentives and show why it’s worth being your brand’s number one fan.
Tip 6 - Giving great incentives for recruiting their friends
What’s better than one Super Fan? How about AN ARMY of Super Fans?! Look to your current network of early adopters and ask them to help build your Super Fan army virally. Reward them by offering great incentives for recruiting their friends to your Super Fan army. A quick look at JUSTFAB’s Super Fan program and it’s clear that Super Fans have a lot to gain by recruiting friends.
Tip 7 - Give Super Fans access to exclusive content
Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of the in-crowd. Let them into your inner circle, make them feel connected and part of something unique. Share breaking news or upcoming products with them first, give them special access or early registration to events, reward them with behind-the-scenes photos and videos. The more special you make your Super Fan feel, the more likely they are to continually engage with and promote your Super Fan program.
Tip 8 - Make it fun to be a Super Fan
Being a Super Fan shouldn’t feel like a job, it should feel like the most amazing hobby in the world. Make sure your Super Fans are having fun. The less work your ambassadors have to do the more likely they are to help. Send goofy cards, have a fun photo contest, talk to them like real people and be thankful that your brand is awesome enough to cultivate this passionate of a fan base. If they enjoy being a Super Fan they are going to continue to be engaged with the program. Further, the more fun they’re having, the more likely they are to bring a friend of theirs to the party.
Tip 9 - Understand who your Super Fan influencers are and make them feel special
There is a lot of talk about finding influencers for your category and many times it revolves around finding that special blogger who has your audience on standby. But it’s time to include who your “fan influencers” are in that mix. These are the fans that are able to single-handedly recruit 1,200 additional Super Fans. They may not have a blog or be an expert in your industry, but they have influence over a lot of potential clients for your brand because they are connected to other fans. Find and empower these Super Fan Influencers by giving them special rewards or bring them in early on special promotions so they feel like you appreciate them.
Tip 10 - Turn to your Super Fans to improve the system
Mama always said that communication is a two-way street in Relationship City. If your Super Fans are talking about you, chances are they’re also going to be talking to you. Are you prepared to listen? The best ideas for how to improve your Super Fan program are going to come from the fans themselves. They’ll offer content suggestions, incentive suggestions, reward systems and other amazing ideas that will make your Super Fan program more successful. Our advice, give your Super Fans what they are asking for. They will tell you how to make your Super Fan program successful. All you have to do is listen and respond.
Bonus Tip 11 - Treat them like people
At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that Super Fans are people and not autonomous sharing robots. They have their own lives, schedules, loved ones and Friday night dinner plans. Talk to them like people, through conversations, and have realistic expectations on what to expect from an engagement level. Definitely don’t berate them if they haven’t shared enough content. Be grateful that they’ve taken time out of their busy life to talk about your company. Treat them with respect, show them they are appreciated and watch them go to work FOR you. Sometimes showing a little social love to your ambassadors can make all the difference. People feel important when a brand they love tweets or Facebook posts a message directly to them.
Have a tip of your own for converting brand ambassadors into Super Fans? Don’t just keep it to yourself, share it with us. Better yet, if you think content like this is worth sharing, become a SocialToaster Super Fan right now (your reward will be awesome Toaster kharma for life, a t-shirt when you reach 1,000 pts., and some amazing content to share with your friends).
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