In today’s ultra-competitive marketing environment, the creation of a loyal fan base can be the key to your company’s success.
The average person is exposed to thousands of ads every day. As a result, they have become extremely skilled at tuning them out.
The number of Internet users taking advantage of adblockers surged in 2016. It’s estimated that ad-blocking software is now installed on over 615 million devices worldwide. This makes it harder than ever for businesses to reach prospects through traditional marketing efforts.
Despite these challenges, some companies are thriving. Social media and new digital marketing methods have opened up a world of opportunities. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and social media celebrities now all have an equal chance to reach their target audience. You don’t have to look hard to find seemingly average people who have found fame and fortune by building an epic fan base.
The #1 Thing You Must Understand about Building a Loyal Fan Base
It’s a great ego boost to watch your number of likes and follows start to climb, but you must never forget that building your fan base is not actually about you at all. To be successful, your efforts must be 100 percent focused on creating real relationships with your audience.
It should go without saying that you need to offer an exceptional product or service that people will be willing to stand behind. You must also be willing to go above and beyond expectations and consistently create an outstanding customer experience.
Once you have laid this groundwork, you will be well on your way to creating a loyal fan base. These are the people who will enthusiastically promote your brand and share your message. This is one of the least expensive and most effective marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes.
Here are 10 steps to solidify your relationships and take your online presence to a whole new level.
Ask for feedback
Show your fans that their opinions matter to you by asking for feedback or taking surveys. When customers are involved in the planning process, they are more likely to enthusiastically support your launch. Make sure that you are open to implementing their suggestions or you run the risk of leaving your audience feeling ignored and frustrated.
Take Advantage of Email
Keeping an up-to-date email list is one of the best ways stay in touch with your followers. It gives you the opportunity to create a feeling of exclusivity by offering special discounts and valuable content. Remember that when readers provide you with their email address, they are welcoming you into their space. Always be respectful and avoid being spammy, salesy, or just plain annoying.
Post on a Consistent Schedule
Contrary to some advice, you don’t have to post to your blog or social media every single day. What you do need to do is decide on a posting schedule you are comfortable with and stick to it. If you get in the habit of posting daily and then drop off the face of the Earth for months, you can’t expect your fans to be waiting when you return. Let your followers know what they can expect, and then deliver on your promises.
Reward Your Fans
Your contacts must have a compelling reason to join your fan base. Look for low-cost, high-value ways to reward them. Do it early and do it often. Your rewards can be in the form of special discounts or promotions, informative blog posts, or offering an “insider’s” view of your company.
Keep readers from getting bored by switching things up periodically. Offer contests, use photos and videos, and spread your message across multiple social media platforms. When you use your imagination, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Create a Valuable Brand
Before they are willing to join your fan base, your contacts must have a positive perception of you and your brand. Ensure that everything you post and each interaction you have on social media reflects your brand in a positive light.
This may mean taking down those political memes and biting your tongue when you want to lash back at a negative comment. Remember that perception is reality, and every action you take contributes to your brand perception.
Connect on a Personal Level
To really connect with your audience, tell your story and make it interesting. Your objective is to show your fans the human side of your brand. When making changes within the company, discuss the rationale behind how the decisions were made. Explain your process, the things you did right, and the lessons you learned from your mistakes.
If appropriate, share photos of your family or other aspects of your personal life. This is a powerful way to make connections but should be done with a bit of caution. Avoid oversharing and make sure everything you post is appropriate for all audiences.
Become a Leader
Most humans inherently want to be brand-loyal. It makes their lives simpler when they know what to expect and don’t have to make brand decisions with each purchase. If you don’t make it easy for them to be loyal to you, they will eventually move on to your competition.
Take steps to establish trust with your followers and position yourself as an industry expert. Share photos and video of you engaging in your core competency or enjoying your favorite hobbies. Create an exciting persona that makes them want to follow you. Take the time to share the things you know and explain the steps you took to get you where you are.
Recruit Core Members
Find a mix of happy customers, close friends, and a few family members to form your core fan base. This will help you with social validation. When potential new followers see that your group is already popular and active, they are more likely to want to join.
Proactively monitor comments on social media and respond quickly with a personal message. This may seem like an unimportant task, but it’s one of the best ways to interact with your customers. If you don’t have the capacity to stay on top of this, consider outsourcing.
Encourage Deeper Engagement
Every blog post should end with a call to action that lets readers know where they can get more information. Try to strategically place at least one link to another of your other blog posts or website pages within the content of your blog.
You may also add a note at the end the suggests additional posts for further reading. The longer you can keep readers on your web page, the more likely you are to convert them into prospects.
It’s been proven that consumers trust the opinions of people they know far more than company advertising. This makes word-of-mouth and social sharing incredibly valuable. With a little bit of care, you can turn your loyal fan base into your primary marketing team.
Want to get even more great business-building tips? Follow Fresh Content Design on Facebook!