The following is a guest post.
Many companies begin using social with the ultimate goal of growing their business. Brand awareness, lead generation and conversions are primary focus for them.
Trust and loyalty are important in drumming up business via social networks. A loyal fan following will not only engage with you and purchase products themselves, but also advocate your business to their networks.
There’s a reason why some companies dominate their industry. A decade ago, brands used TV to build brand loyalty. Since then, they have used social networks to connect with their key demographics.
How to build a loyal fan following using social networks
Sports fans – be it baseball, football or basketball – are fiercely passionate and vocal about it on social networks. Several sports teams have begun to stoke this passion. They initiate conversations, engage fans and enhance the sports experience.
The Los Angeles Kings in particular have seen spectacular social media success. They play to the emotions of fans and create explosive conversations that often go viral.
Who is a true fan?
In entrepreneur extraordinaire Mike Masnick’s words, a true fan is someone who will purchase anything your produce, drive as far as it takes to hear your sing and buy the “super deluxe re-issued hi-res box” set even if they already have the low-res version.
To build a community of passionate fans, you need to go beyond the basics.
Create a consistent posting schedule
First, get hygiene out of the way. You have to post to your social media page at regular intervals (once a day on Facebook, 2-3 times a day on Twitter).
Mark Schaefer classifies content as hygiene, in-depth and hero content. You can’t create only hero content, it would be too expensive and time-consuming.
You could, although, curate hero content to share with followers and build relationships with the people who create them while you’re at it.
If you have Slack, instal GrowthBot ( a Slack integration and messaging bot) on it and check what the top posts are on the best publications in your niche by typing in that question.
Alternatively, you could curate content on DrumUp and schedule fresh posts from top publications from the app.
Target niche groups
Like Seth Godin has pointed out, forget about the mass market, they are great at ignoring you. Focus instead on the niche outliers, who can become passionate fans of your brand.
Create and curate content that focuses on your niche groups, or outliers.
For instance, if you are a digital marketer, create industry specific guide like “How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Restaurant” or “7 Reasons Why Regulated Industries Shouldn’t Ignore Social Media”.
You can find ideas for topics by using a blank in your Google search, like this – “Digital Marketing Guide for *” and the SERPs (search engine page results) will give you a ton of ideas you can use.
Tell your story
As creator of Toy Story, Andrew Stanton, has pointed out, an audience can even love the villain once they know his/her story. People strongly connect with stories, it is human nature.
Use your social media page to narrate pieces of your story – an experience, your past or what’s happening on a behind-the-scenes photograph that you share with your audience.
Work with what you know and narrate it like you would to a friend. Try and capture the emotion that you felt and the thoughts that ran in your mind during an incident.
Add your personality to the post. One of the reasons why the Kings succeed is because they have built a personality (playful and almost snarky) and stay true to it on all their posts.
Respond to your fans
Once people start engaging with your posts it becomes important to acknowledge them and keep the conversation going.
A majority of brands have admitted to ignoring 87% of their mentions, according to a study conducted by SproutSocial.
Fans choose social networks over email to engage brands because they want an instant response. Giving them anything but that might result in a dip in enthusiasm towards your brand.
Building an engaged social media community is a function of consistent posting, personal interaction and a personality that people want to engage. Create these for your brand and watch your engagement levels skyrocket.
Jessica Davis follows the social media and content marketing space closely, and writes about it extensively. She represents Godot Media, a leading SEO writing and content marketing firm.