I am at an event called the Mind of Moms Summit in Northwest Arkansas. Rockfish Interactive and some other sponsoring partners have brought in some influential Moms that blog to talk to brand people. The idea is to share how social media can make or break brands and how to engage with shoppers around brands.
Other than the social media thing, I am not the target market, but it is extremely interesting. I love hearing about how companies are engaging in a conversation with their customers. This is so important because more and more we are going to find that conventional marketing will grow less and less effective.
I tweeted recently that “I don’t watch commercials. I pay no attention to online ads. I do care about what my friends love. (if they are sincere).” If brands don’t engage in conversation with their customers, customers will eventually begin to lose interest unless you have a truly remarkable product, and most products aren’t.
You need to go to search.twitter.com and search #mindofmoms to join in the conversation.
There is a neat website called www.lovemarks.com. Everyone should check it out because it brings up a very interesting aspect to brands. There are some brands that transcend other brands in that they capture the heart of their customer. Some brands that immediately come to mind are Apple computers, Zappos – an online shoe seller, Guinness, Nike, Heinz ketchup, Jeep, Twitter (ironically), Wrangler jeans. Regardless how you might feel about these brands, there are people who not only swear by them but jump to their defense because these brands have moved on from simple recognition to personal identification. The people who love those brands are not only loyal, but they tend to define themselves around that brand. There is a connection there that goes way beyond the product.
Here are ways for Twitter to strengthen love for your brand
1. Engage in conversation
I think one of the best ways to make your brand move that direction is giving customers access and a platform to engage in the conversation surrounding that product. Taking part in the conversation helps customers to gain a sense of ownership in that brand. Strive to make your brand’s Twitter presence a conversation if possible.
2. Haters aren’t necessarily a bad thing
Don’t be afraid of haters, because that opens an organic opportunity for customers who love your brand to defend it which deepens their passion for the brand.
3. Engage your brand lovers
That one sounds a little racy, but what I mean is the people who have gone to the trouble of following your brands Twitter stream are extremely engaged. Give the exclusive offers which will further cement their loyalty. Being special in the eyes of a brand that I love only furthers my love of that brand, and if I can gain access to specials that others can’t makes me feel more engaged.
4. Be careful about stereotypes of Twitter users
Twitter is becoming more and more ubiquitous. Case in point, one Sunday I decided to see what the Twitterverse had to say about NASCAR. I wrongly assumed that the NASCAR fan and the Twitter user were mutually exclusive. I was wrong. There is a huge community that actively engages in conversation around NASCAR during races on Twitter. You may will be surprised by the diversity of the Twitterverse. Your brand has an audience on Twitter.
The bottom line is that Twitter is a powerful tool that can bring both great good and great harm to brands. Good = conversation. Bad = Twitterspam. Make sure to start and maintain good conversation.