Over the last couple of years there’s been a pattern of brands running campaigns designed to ‘show our fans how much we love them’. Typically this involves the brand surprising the fan with some sort of free gift, the fan(s) is thrilled, and this is all filmed and turned into a commercial, then promoted in case studies at conferences, white papers, etc. The basic format is a commercial or video that says ‘We found 10 fans that love our brand, and we decided to show them how we love them right back’.
It’s great that brands are connecting with their fans and rewarding them for being fans. It really is. But brands should be smart enough to embrace their fans all the time, not just when the cameras are rolling.
Your brand shouldn’t embrace its fans because it could lead to good publicity, you should embrace your fans because you want to.
Fans don’t want to hear from you just when its convenient to you, they want a relationship with you. They want constant contact and interaction. So if you launch a ‘campaign’ designed to connect with them once or twice then disappear, you are actually hurting that relationship with your fans and making them less likely to promote you.
As I said Wednesday in #Rockstarchat, the most successful brands are the ones that make the transaction secondary to the person. These brands want to connect with their customers and create a better experience for them and a deeper connection. With the understanding that doing so will lead to more sales.
Your fans love you and view your brand as being their brand. Which is why they want you to connect with them, they want you to ask them how they can help you and when they give you advice on how to make your brand better, they want you to act on that advice.
This isn’t rocket science, folks. This is about building relationships. Think about when someone likes you, if you only initiate contact with that person when you want to see them and if you only want to do the things that you like with them, how would that person react? They probably wouldn’t like you for very long. You want to show that person that you are willing to do some of the things that they like to do as well. It can’t be only about you, there has to be some compromise.
It’s the same thing with connecting with your fans. You can’t do it only when you can make a commercial out of it and get positive publicity. It has to be because you love your fans, and want a closer connection with them.
That closer connection takes time and energy and a plan to develop, but its so worth it for your brand. And before you say that you have no idea how to create a plan for connecting with your fans, remember that I wrote the book that shows you exactly how.