You can’t build your brand without having a fan base. You need to get people to connect with you and become loyal to your brand and your products and/or services. If you have integrity, honesty and credibility, you’ll have fans.
It won’t happen overnight
It is important to remember that building a fan base doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and nurturing. That is not to say that it can’t be done. It certainly can be accomplished and with some effort, consistency and love, you will have one before you know it. The first thing to remember when it comes to building a fan base is that you need to engage people and you need to keep them interested in what you are saying and in what you and your business stand for. It is critical that you successfully tell your story and if your story is compelling and interesting, you won’t have any problem whatsoever in holding the interest of your fans (and potential fans). So, now you have to figure out how to build your fan base. You need to identify a few social media channels and start building.
Start with Facebook
Facebook is a wonderful place to start building a fan base. You should start by making a Facebook Fan Page. If you aren’t sure about how to do that, you can search with one of your favorite search engines (such as Google, perhaps) and you will find step-by-step instructions on how to create a Fan Page. Once you have established your Fan Page, you can start to create exciting and engaging content that other people will be interested in reading. It is extremely important to remember that you need to offer fresh content on a rolling basis. There is nothing that will work against your potential business success more than static content. Static content will become stale almost immediately and your fans will leave before you have even had an opportunity to form a relationship together. One of your main goals is to get people to interact with you. Discussions and questions and answers are critical to this process. When you post content, always remember to put yourself in the shoes of the people with whom you are going to be interacting. Because you are entering into an interactive situation, you can get a great deal of your cues from your target audience. They will tell you what they want and need from you. Once you have managed to engage your fans, you need to come up with some way of thanking them for engaging with you. There are endless ways to do this. You can offer them a discount on a product or service, send them a monthly newsletter, white paper, etc. If people find your information valuable and educational, they will be very happy to accept whatever it is that you want to send them to say thank you.
Go with the other social media channels as well
After you have created a Fan Page on Facebook, you should choose to follow people on Twitter and encourage them to follow you back. This is another great way to create a fan base. The same is true for LinkedIn. Start establishing connections on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is extraordinarily powerful for business and the more top-quality connections you have, the more successful your business will ultimately be as well.
Make it personal
Your interactions with your target audience are always going to be on a human level. A great way to make your fans feel as though they are really important to you and your business is by making them feel that they are privy to information that is not shared with most people. People love to feel important. Make them understand clearly that their feelings and their opinions matter. Any time you build a relationship with another human being, you are connecting on an emotional, personal level. There is no other way to connect if you are going to have a meaningful relationship with the other person. You need to make them feel that they are truly a part of your business. If you can succeed at making that happen, your fans will stick with you for a very long time. If you want to successfully build your fan base, you need to jump in and become an active participant in the discussions that are going on. It is important that you make a commitment to spending a certain amount of time each week cultivating your fans. You will start to notice how many people react favorably to your loyalty and commitment to them.
Having a fan base is absolutely critical to the success of your business. Social media is all about relationships. Without relationships, you won’t get from Point A to Point B. You need to connect with people on a personal, emotional level so that you can enjoy a relationship that is enduring and mutually beneficial.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.