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Nurturing the Online Influencer – Building the Brand Fan

May 7, 2010 | By | No Comments

The brand fan. This enthusiastic and energetic consumer isn’t as elusive as you might think, as depicted by this picture.  Why the NY Giants fan?  Well, let’s just say a few of us at Social Strategy1 are big fans (and no – that’s an AP image, not one of us)!  Think about this, though –  according to Forrester’s Peer Influence Analysis, a mere 16% of online Americans are responsible for 80% of the brand impressions on social media. Yet there are ways to find, nurture, and engage brand fans. Here are three strategies for building passionate and vocal admirers:

Find them

The World Wide Web is, well, wide. Trying to find a profit-building, fan-creating online influencer seems harder than trying to find the needle in the haystack. Consider investing in a social media monitoring service with the expertise and know-how to access information and help you answer these questions:

  • Who are my online influencers?
  • Where do they spend their online time? YouTube? Facebook? Do they Digg it or Tweet it?
  • What do they share on social media? Do they forward coupon codes and discounts? Are they posting product reviews and recommendations?

Nurture them

Once you know where you’re current and potential influencers are, it’s time to turn down the volume and listen. Really listen. In fact, one of the best ways to nurture anything—from babies to brand fans—is to listen to their wants and needs.

Online listening can clue you into any number of conversations. Is your new packaging a pain to open? Is your web-based service slower on a specific browser? Is the customer service staff cranky or condescending? Do moms love that new feature that was added incidentally?

By listening carefully to the online influencer, you’ll glean info about how they perceive your brand, products, and employees. Once you know what they’re saying, you can move onto the next step: social engagement.

Engage them

Social engagement of an online influencer can create the kind of legendary customer service Ken Blanchard wrote about in Raving Fans.  When you engage the customer to improve his or her satisfaction, it not only drives repeat business, it encourages the online influencer to Tweet, Digg and comment their pleasure to the entire web.

Don’t limit social engagement to offering special discounts to an online influencer. For example, make them feel like an insider by providing a sneak peek of a new product or asking them to test a service before it’s released. You can also comment on an advocate’s blog or Tweet a relevant article they’ve authored.

When it’s time to start building your brand fan base, consider investing in a social media monitoring service that provides expert, turn-key service. Contact Social Strategy 1 today.

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