How to Take Your Fans from “Like” to Love

Facebook LikeI recently made a few posts here on the CEM blog about advertising to the mom demographic, and how moms tend to follow and “Like” brands through social media – and I hyped that as one of the big reasons why your company should think about marketing to moms. But what’s the next step? In this article, I’ll talk about some current trends of “brand fans” (who tend to be in the Generation Y group), and how you can take the next step in marketing to those who are most likely to follow your brand online.

Fans’ Interaction With Brands Still Low

You’ve done all of the right things to rack up huge numbers of brand fans on Facebook and Twitter, but all of those “Likes” don’t seem to be driving your sales anywhere but down the same road they’ve been going on. What gives? It turns out that getting consumers to “Like” your brand on social networks is only the first step in turning fans into customers.

According to a recent article in AdWeek, only 39% of adults ages 18-49 surveyed interact with brands that they “Like” regularly or all the time. 33% said they do so occasionally, and just under a third said that they rarely or ever interact with brands they “Like.” Only 50% of adults surveyed said that brands are “very or somewhat effective” in capturing their attention over social media networks. These numbers are higher for so-called digital trendsetters, but I’m betting you’re looking to pick up sales from everyone, not just those who are particularly tech savvy.

What You’re Doing Wrong

The AdWeek article, which sites the 2013 NBC Universal Integrated Media’s The Curve Report, lists a number of reasons that brand fans aren’t particularly drawn to getting more involved with even their favorite brands via social media. Here are a couple of statistics from the article that highlight some of the reasons why you might not be getting the response from fans that you want.

  • Nearly a quarter of respondents only follow or “Like” brands to take advantage of deals being offered through social media
  • 18% said that they feel like brands’ efforts to interact with them are inauthentic, and 21% said that brands focus on acquiring “Likes” and followers rather than creating a community
  • 8% said their favorite brands didn’t make enough of an effort to communicate with them, in contrast with the 17% who said they found brands’ constant efforts to be obnoxious

There’s also the issue of relevance. If you’re not using analytics data to drive your social media campaign, according to Clickz, you have no idea what pages are hitting the mark in the social media sphere and which aren’t. Since so many brands are failing to get the attention of their fans and followers, making sure that you’re appealing to the interests of those who “Like” you is key to keeping their loyalty.

Going From “Like” to Love

Even if your social media campaign has generated a somewhat lackluster response so far, there are plenty of ways that you can optimize your social media campaign and create the content that will matter to your fans and followers. Clickz and SmartBlog both offer a number of suggestions for improving your relationship with your social media brand fans:

  • Look at historical performance. What has generated a big response from fans and followers in the past? Don’t be afraid to update and rehash content that has appealed to your fanbase – if “part one” did well, it’s likely that “part two” will, as well.
  • Stay human. Sure, you’re a business and you don’t want to use your company Facebook as a journal, but reminding your followers that there are people behind your business with their own quirks, interests, and emotions can help foster a sense of community.
  • Engage your fans. Respond personally to feedback, ask fans questions, and seek out user-generated content. By keeping social media social, you can involve your potential customers in a conversation that will keep them interested in what you have to say.
  • Have a strategy. On the business side of things, think about creating an editorial calendar that will help you plan and keep up with your social media posting. That way, you can produce quality content that is up to date and relevant while maintaining a strong brand image.
  • Be informative. This might mean being transparent about your business processes, or giving friends, fans, and followers the inside scoop on new products/services and the best ways to use them.

A good social media campaign can help build brand loyalty and bring in tremendous ROI. But it’s crucial to remember that a “Like” only goes so far – you have to make your fans and followers love your brand. If you want to take the next step in your social media campaign, now is the time to think about building true relationships with your fans and followers, and creating high-quality content that is relevant and engaging.

How is your brand taking followers from “Like” to love? Share your tricks and tips in the comments section!


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Beans graduated from Smith College in 2011 with a BA in History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and has worked as a farmer, a cook on a food truck, and an archival assistant. Outside of writing and editing for CEM, Beans enjoys reading voraciously, watching space documentaries, and baking vegan treats. Currently, Beans lives in Salt Lake City, UT.

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