Brand loyalty, Customer Advocacy… there are other phrases that are used too that all amount to the same things – creating a warm fuzzy feeling in the minds of your target audience when they think of your brand.
I don’t think I’ve ever been asked this question exactly as I’ve worded it in the title – but there are many questions that I’ve answered by explaining how social media and your other digital marketing activities should be creating the warm and fuzzies!
Talk to your people!
You should know your audience – so speak to them at their level about the things that are important to them. Grab pen and paper and write a list of ten things that are a priority for your biggest client right now, put yourself in their shoes and imagine what’s keeping them up at night. When they sit in front of their screens and hit Google, what are they searching for?
Then take a look at your social media feeds your email marketing activity, your blog… how many of these questions have you been feeding them the answers to?
Give them the opportunity to hang out with you.
“I don’t want our clients to think we’re….” When someone starts with this sentence, I have to measure my response. What I want to do is roll my eyes and jump out of my seat and shout “What?… Human? Approachable? Fun? Accessible, Loving your work?… You don’t want your clients to think that.”
Obviously – I don’t do that.
And, I do get that we all want to maintain our professionalism.
If you use social media to create a perception of your business that will build brand loyalty and advocacy – you’ve got to create the content to prove that!
In the last few months, I’ve met with several clients (old, new and prospective) and have come up against the following scenarios.
“I want to be known as an expert in my niche” – This client doesn’t blog.
“I want everyone to know how important our people are in our business” – There was not one single photo of their team on their website, let alone their social media profiles!
“I want to use social media to gain insight into our audience” – They only posted once every couple of months on social media, didn’t blog, didn’t use email marketing.
Is this making sense yet? If you want to create an engaged audience that is loyal to your brand – you need to feed the machine! Sharing articles from the likes of Forbes, Inc, etc. will only get you so far. We need some real-life content in the style of photos where you’re incapable of taking a selfie (that’s me), can’t record a video without stuttering (that’s me too), sharing an opinion with the world (like this article).
If you were in a face to face social situation – you’d talk about the last book you read, a film you saw, what’s happening at the weekend. You’d talk about business too of course. But in those conversations, you’d build trust. It would take more than one conversation – so when you’re building trust online, please don’t expect it to take a single post. It takes consistency and work. No one goes to a networking meeting and stands in the corner facing the wall – having a social media presence is not the same as actually being present in the room!
In a nutshell.. if you’re doing the following, I truly believe that brand loyalty, advocacy, or whatever you want to call it, becomes a natural bi-product.
- Position your brand correctly
- Make sure your overall message is clear
- Target the right audience and put that audience at the centre of your content strategy
- Give that audience the opportunity to engage with you – step out into the light!
Enough ranting from me… I’m going to leave you with a two-part challenge:
Part 1: Putting yourself in the mind of an ideal client, write a paragraph or jot down a few bullet points that describe the warm and fuzzies that you should be creating when they think of your brand.
Part 2: Look at your social media presence, your email marketing, your blogs and every other way you communicate with them. What specific examples do you have of giving your current audience the opportunity to feel that way about your brand? If you come up short on this part of the challenge – you need to do better!
(Psst… Regarding that very last bit… if you need the help, I know an awesome digital marketing agency that specialises in social media that can help with that!)