You have several business goals when it comes to your online interactions. You need to make sure that your brand is recognized and you need to build a loyal following for your fan base. Loyal fans are a key to success.
It is extremely important for you to have people “like” your brand; however, it is also extremely important for you to understand the motivation behind your fans becoming loyal to you and your business. Understanding what you have that they want and need is one of the most important elements of the foundation of your business. Another important concept to understand is who is being drawn to your brand and why.
When it comes to attracting people online to your business, there are several different ways in which you can do that. The following are the people with whom you will want to interact. They will be loyal to you and your business.
Participants in your contents: Running a contest will bring you loyal online connections. Not only will those people be fans for the duration of the contest but they will also be loyal to you after the contest ends. In fact, it is a very effective way to increase your target audience. The downside; however, is that the people whom you have acquired in this way will not be screened and prequalified to the extent that other target audience members would be. Don’t worry. All hope is not lost. You have the power to turn the situation around if you wish to do so.
Short-term fans: These fans are not necessarily going to be connected to you for a very long time. Their connection with you starts out being extremely short term and temporary but they don’t necessarily have to stay that way. If they are impressed enough with you and your business, they may start to interact with you on a more long-term, permanent basis and before you know it, you will have developed a relationship.
Accidental fans: There are some fans who didn’t actually mean to become fans at all. They accidentally pushed the butt0n. However, if you have mutual interests and a desire to interact because you have enough in common that makes it worthwhile, it won’t really matter how you arrived at this point. You should try to think of them as unplanned, bright spots in your fan base.
Fans from the past: Your will interact with a large number of people throughout your career and some of them will be in your life for a long time and others will be in your life for a finite amount of time and then you won’t really interact with them too much after that. You aren’t an integral part of their world any more than you are an integral part of theirs. However, they do hold value for you. Your interaction will most likely consist of following each other from the outskirts. You will always be connected in some way but your connection will be more passive than active. Of course, it is not unheard of that they may re-emerge in a more active way at some point in your career.
Inside fans: Inside fans are fans who work very closely with you and who have just as much to lost or gain by having a strong connection to you and your business. You know (without a doubt) that you can count on them. It is definitely important for you to have them around but they are not in any way connected to your ability (or your reality) of cultivating relationships with new people.
Brand loyalists: You will find that there are people who have no interest in you but have a vested interest in your brand. Their motivation is all about the brand. In essence, they are riding on your coattails. That is not necessarily a bad thing. If they are so loyal to your brand (even if their motivation is selfish), by default, they are also loyal to you.
Solid, loyal fans: These people are sincere, genuine, loyal fans and they are the best fans that you can hope for. They are interested in you and your brand. They are passionate about what you are doing and they are thrilled to spread the word about how amazing your offerings are. They are generally not swayed by the negativity of people who are less loyal than they are.
You will see that along the way, you will acquire several different types of fans. It is important to recognize one type from another so that you can understand what to expect from each type and thus not be disappointed. You should appreciate all of your fans and let them know that they are all valuable to you and your business in their own way. Each type of fan hold a different type of value and they are all special. Your fans are not about money or numbers. Their significance stems from who they are as people and what they can offer to you and to your business, which is a great deal.[signoff][/signoff]
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.