Social media unites and builds brand loyalty

by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded

One question that I hear that keeps coming up is, “How do you use social media to increase sales?” That may be the wrong question to ask. Social media is not necessarily best suited for marketing or sales. I don’t know of any brands that successfully use social media that results in achieving marketing or sales goals. It helps, but mostly as a supplemental tactic, not as a primary driver. The best brands ask a different question, “How do you use social media to unite my customers?”

This is a much better premise to start from to use social media effectively. Social media is best used to unite your customers and build brand loyalty. Social media addresses the human fundamental need to interact with other humans. Social media allows people to feel more connected to each other and, if done well, connected to your brand. Social media is at its best when used to build communities and unite fans of your brand. The community has buy-in and feel emotionally connected to your brand. They own it. And that’s a good thing. Even when they criticize. This shows they care enough to voice their opinion about what a brand is doing wrong. They feel ownership. Again, this is a good thing. Social media gives your community and fans a branded environment to share ideas, their love, and voice their tough love about how your brand fits into their lifestyle.

Starbucks uses to unite their fans allowing them to offer suggestions, vote on flavors and actually see their opinions be put into action at their local store. Dell uses social media as a medium for customers to post new ideas, product improvements, and vote on new product features as they are introduced into the market place. Mountain Dew’s Dewmocracy appealed to their core customers by having them vote for the newest Mt. Dew flavor. The “election” was live and people can see in real time the vote count per flavor.

These are just a few brands who uses social media correctly. It’s not about sales and marketing, but about uniting and building loyalty. Now, both of these qualities do end up helping marketing and sales, but don’t look for the cash register to ring just because you have a Facebook fan page. Give fans and loyal customers a place to gather, share ideas, and be heard. It’s more fun to share the love with others. Especially if it’s your brand.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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