The Happiness of a fan is what makes the world of consumerism go round. It’s also what helps spread the word fastest. Keeping the fan family entertained should be one of our top priorities as brands/marketers/etc.
I honestly believe that to be successful on the internet - you have to be a fan. You have to be able to acknowledge when something is awesome and when something is a sales pitch.
Because, I can guarantee other fans that make a difference can tell.
The following is a collection of “Guidelines” I have written on all of my creative spaces as personal reminders for things I’m posting. They are in no way scientifically proven and are what I generally aim for when partaking in New Media interaction.
FIRST STEPS FOR OPTIMUM FAN HAPPINESS
Understand your brand
It’s imperative that you understand your brand’s goals, vision, message, and voice. Without these things solidly decided you’ll struggle to define your New Media voice.
Know your demographic before you speak
Cater to your Reach: If you have access to analytics already - pay attention to your demographic. Be sure to note the demographic of fans engaged and reached - not just overall count.
Pick Your Reach: If you don’t have access to analytics or your trying to broaden your demographic - decide what demographic your brand needs to target for ultimate success. Know your demographic hopes and dreams will help you communicate better to them.
Choose Your Platforms
Go Where They Are: Choosing your key platforms will be determined by your desired demographic. Do some research about where your fans are going for their social media needs. (ie: Facebook might not be the place to aim for teens according to some released news last year.)
Be Smart: Generally there’s different rules of thought on how many platforms to engage. A healthy number would be to plan to keep up with 3-5 platforms for your single brand. Don’t spread yourself thin - but don’t neglect outlets worthwhile to your reach.
BEGINNING FAN HAPPINESS
Understand your platforms
- Don’t be a newb! Understanding the etiquette of the platforms you choose to engage will help you in the long run. Observe the platform before you start. A few hours of research never hurt anyone.
- Contribute to the Community! Plan posts so that your brand is seen as a pivotal contributor to the community. This will convince your fans to engage with you on a regular basis.
Remember Fans/Likes/Followers are Human
Human Contact: A common misconception for a lot of brands is that your followship on platforms is a big brick wall you’re trying to break through. But, if you remember that your fans are HUMANS and not just a number - chances are your preconceived wall will form a free flowing gate with time.
Respect the Individual: People like feeling respected as individuals and not just someone who’ll buy your junk. Believe me, everyone hates feeling like a number. And they’ll reward those who acknowledge their individual interactions.
Get them involved: Understand that people like feeling a part of something. That’s why movie theater’s, live performances, music festivals, and religion are so popular. Ask them to take part in campaigns, activities, and conversations - they’ll respect you more because you asked their opinion on something.
Be Humble: Remember that your fan’s enjoy praise. Like all human’s they enjoy being told thank you and feeling appreciated. It’s important to humbly thank your fans for their involvement with you on the platform. This shouldn’t only be done during holidays - do it regularly and honestly.
How to make Human Fans Happy
Laughter: Who doesn’t like to laugh? It’s the best way to connect and be seen as a human entity. To understand that we’re all human’s and we all just want to be entertained. (Example: Post relevant social satire, encourage conversation about a pop-culture topic, etc)
Merch: Fans enjoy merch. They like to support brands that they truly believe in. So offer them the opportunity to find and or recieve new merchandise. (Example: Post discount codes for product purchasing, offer merchandise give aways, etc)
Opportunities: Job opportunities are cool - but collaborative opportunities are better. Collaborating online has become a trend since…well….forever. It’s an important part of a lot of online communities - so give them the opportunity to collaborate. (Example: Consider developing low cost campaigns where you ask fans to submit fan art, or captions to photos, etc.)
Brand Knowledge: Brand Knowledge and brand sales pitching are entirely two different things. Brand knowledge can be basic facts that everyone knows because they saw your commercial - BUT imagine how much more connected fans would feel to a brand if they actually were let in on facts that aren’t in the fine print. (Example: Introduce staff members and their favorite colors, post photos of the company retreat, etc.)
Don’t Sales Pitch - Share: Again the sales pitch is see through. People can see what your doing. But, guess what? After so many times - they stop caring and recognize your brand’s selfishness. Again, Sharing is the ultimate goal for all New Media. Not just that you hope someone shares your post - BUT you need to recognize that you’re SHARING information…. not delivering a sale.
Why make Fan’s Happy?
Um….why not? Truth is Fans are the only people that give a shit. They’ll share your content and brand for free if they feel a sort of personal loyalty to you. Word of mouth is what New Media is all about - so you best start making your brand something people want to talk about! And of course….the final statement of this post:
“Without your fans your just another shitty facebook account that they can ignore.”