Brands have embraced social media wholeheartedly and their ability to reach fans and possible customers has grown with the many platforms available. But reach does not necessarily equal love. Brand love is as tricky as human relationships. When we love a brand it’s like a dear companion, one that we talk about, tell others how much we love them, use their products religiously…they are always our first choice, the brand we go to. How do you, as a brand, develop this type of relationship, growing and maintaining a deep brand loyalty and love?
If people love your brand, they will become your most ardent fans, advocating for you both offline to friends and family, as well as online through their social media channels. According to socialnomics.net:
- 25 % of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are linked to user-generated content.
- 34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.
- 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations.
The key to gaining this brand love is connecting; and the key to connecting is content. If your content does not garner interest then you won’t have many loyal followers. The goal of content is to create a relationship between your brand and the customer. Your content needs to accomplish several things:
- Have a human voice. There are two ways a brand can accomplish this. One, by letting your fans see the leaders and employees in your company. This will humanize your brand. And second, by posting content that is more than just information. You want to convey your brand as personal, empathetic, and excited about your product or service.
- Give valuable information. You want to be seen as an authority in your field. Give information that shows you know what you’re talking about, while at the same time, giving something valuable to your readers. Keep them coming back for more.
- Use images and video. We love to be entertained and captivating photos and interesting and funny videos encourage further exploration of what your website and social media platforms have to offer. They are a huge draw and color and creativity will bring people in.
Content is vital, but another very important area in obtaining brand love is the emotional aspect. Brand love is all about a relationship. There are various ways a brand can encourage and develop relationship with people:
- Create a sense of belonging. We all want to belong, whether it’s to a peer group, family, or a club or social activity. A brand can create that sense of belonging, being part of the “in group” experience, by holding contests, exclusive sales, and giving shout-out’s to their fans.
- Engage, engage, engage. Relationships are a two-way street and the conversation between brand and customer will either push them away by ignoring them or draw them closer by consistent and prompt engagement.
- Court your customers. When you’re in a close relationship you spend time together, do special things for each other and make each other feel loved. Brands can do the same by looking for ways that tell their customer, “You’re valuable to us.” You do this with your content and by showcasing your fans. Consistent contact will let them know they are important to you.
“A brand that captures your mind gains behavior. A brand that captures your heart gains commitment.” -Scott Talgo, Principal and CoFounder at Galea Consulting Group. The brand-human relationship is much like the human-human relationship. Your brand can build passionate commitments that are ready to go the distance. The payoff is an emotional attachment or love and a deep loyalty from your fans that they will value and share.
I Love My Brand