Carrots are good for you.
How do you know?
Who told you?
Do you actually feel better after eating a carrot?
What compelled me to ask such an obvious question?
The other day, I had a conversation with a client about tribal marketing. We were discussing how to build a brand image that would attract a loyal following. That’s when the comment about eating carrots came up.
At this point we all understand and know that eating vegetables is good for you and essential for good health. We don’t have to think about it; we just know it; our parents knew it; their parents knew it; and it became part of our culture, our psyche.
We should aim for creating that mentality for our brand!
Easier said than done! Clients advertise, hire a PR firm, use guerrilla marketing techniques and now what? Now they are “forced” to use social media but are confused as to how! Rationale: “The competition has a robust social marketing program. We don’t really like it, we don’t see the point, but everybody else has a social presence so we should too. Let’s just post and see what happens.”
Dear client, you are right!
Social media marketing is a budding industry that still needs a little flushing out. BUT, to create a tribe of loyal purchasers you need to explore new ways of marketing. ESPN announced at Advertising Week that 60 percent of digital traffic comes from smartphone and handheld devices. That said, take your online marketing seriously and focus on “gathering your flock”.
Start looking towards building your tribe
Every brand should aim for a tribe of loyal followers. Once this happens the rest of the consumers will follow. Arming yourself with patience is the first part of the battle. Take advantage of all the marketing tools available today to build a unique following. Here are a few things to consider:
- Don’t just focus on vanity metrics: Likes and follows are nice, but do they help you?
- Don’t stop and start a social media program: Allot a steady budget that you are comfortable with to keep the program moving.
- Don’t give up: It takes a while to build a following. Be patient, you will get there.
- ROI is a big issue, I know: You need to justify that expenditure. Let me give you an analogy. You have to pay property taxes; it’s money that looks like it goes nowhere. It doesn’t: you live in the house; your kids go to school in the neighborhood. That’s what we are building with social media, a community.
- No one is engaging in our social media pages: Like coffee, your pages have to brew. They are looking at them. Your audience doesn’t know you yet. Keep making them feel at home because once they trust you, they will be loyal followers.
- Encourage your users to become familiar with your brand. Post information about how you can help your visitors. Your potential followers will appreciate you thinking about them.
- Position your brand as an essential for your visitors. A “must have”. If your users see a need for your products, they will try them and be grateful that you suggested them.
- Always encourage users to bring their friends to your pages by offering them takeaways and deals.
- Let your brand ambassadors spread the word: They will help you get your products into the hands of consumers. They can try them to see if they like them and if they do, they will recommend.
It takes time to build a tribe of loyal followers. Creating an obvious understanding like “eating carrots is good for you” takes time. Building trust and educating your consumers is a long-term effort. Even if social marketing makes the trek a little shorter, it still is quite a journey. Let the journey begin!