Do you remember the early days of social networking? Every friend you added actually represented something, every email meant as much as a handwritten letter, online groups of people meant almost as if you had known each other for years.
This has become a rarity today, and this highly regarded connection between people has been replaced by various algorithms, formulas, and code that decide what you will actually see when you enter one of these social networks. Social networks are not going to disappear, and although people are already slowly realizing this and reconciling with this fact, they are bored with the way people, businesses, marketers and organizations use social networks.
Namely, we are all witnessing that many companies and people put all their efforts into the worst parts of marketing, the most sinister ones – scams and tricks: from email lists you can’t get rid of, to people who find you on LinkedIn or Instagram just to force you to buy something. Even social networks themselves have begun to optimize their algorithms for profit rather than for connectivity between users.
That connection is coming back to our lives, and it is the key to success in the future of marketing for all people, celebrities, organizations and companies planning to grow in the coming years.
The very concept of fan-making is the use of your content to create connections between you and your followers, enabling better ways to communicate, share ideas, use in common to enhance the experience for you as a producer and for them as customers / users.
Look at fans as a group of people who loves what you do, your process, your product, your attitude, and have a desire to support you, whether as a part of your content or product creation process, or as a user of them, and therefore invaluable a valuable touch point between you and the rest of the world.
Having fans frees you as an organization / company from a lot of pressure when it comes to financial motives for the future of your business, considering that you don’t have to give the same attention to where your next revenue will come from, knowing that you have fans to support you in any what endeavor. This automatically makes your company sustainable for a limited period of time.
Specific tips on how to “create a fanbase”:
1. “Release” your creations / products.
When your product is ready to be marketed, it’s time to get rid of any kind of ownership of the property except of course in legal terms. Specifically, this item is about giving complete freedom to your customers, followers, etc., giving them complete freedom in every way to “represent” your product themselves. Any friction created on social networks creates your identity and represents your presence on social channels, where, inevitably, your future fans are likely to find out about you.
Here’s an example of Roomba vacuum cleaners, which went viral on social media through videos recorded by users of these vacuum cleaners. The theme of most videos is how these same vacuum cleaners “do their jobs” with opposition from pets in that household, which later led to the creation of various memes, numerous articles in various media. i-Robot, the company that makes Roomba vacuum cleaners, has fully embraced all content created and published by their users, knowing that they are creating links with it that would not otherwise be possible, and thus creating new fans who will faithfully follow their future products.
2. Share more than you have to
In the world of social networking, distraction, and content posting, most people, organizations, and companies place paywalls or other restrictions on their best and most valuable posts, articles, or videos, requiring either a subcription, a direct monetary donation, or your email address to allow you access to the content . In practice, this approach may work, but it does not help at all in the process of creating fans to support you in the future, knowing that you are looking for certain things from them to give them access to your product at all.
Many marketing experts today think that the content sharing method, for free, creates a bigger impression for you as an organization in this online world. Watch it as a bait throw that will attract those who like your content / product. All your hard work will pay off through those same fans who will stay with you in the future, regardless of how you present your product, because you get their trust.
However, here you can also apply the type of hybrid model that consists of posting content for free, but requiring something as small as an email address or creating an account on your website to access the content / product in more detail.
3. Get closer than usual
Does the way your company is organized and your relationship with the manufacturer as a customer allow you to organize a particular type of event, gathering or socializing? If so, much of the work is already done, as it automatically allows you to build a close relationship with your customers, have direct channels to receive feedback, and keep them informed of all your organization’s happenings and plans.
On the other hand, it is also possible to use certain in-house gatherings or meetings as one of the tools to create a customer relationship, ie. using social networks to “engage” users in a meeting (story, post, video or message from your marketing department through these communication channels will not hurt).
Whatever method you use, keep in mind that the whole process is based on the human connection you want to create between your company / brand and your fans.