Every business owner, CEO or executive board would love to have a customer base as loyal as the online and offline communities that surround brands like Harley Davidson and Apple. For these customers, money is no object. In many cases, neither is time or a personal life. These customers will stand in line overnight just to get dibs on early releases of new products.
These customers simply must buy the products, the accessories and even a lot of the promotional merch. In addition, you would literally have to pay some of these customers to stop talking about the brand they love whenever the topic comes up.
How does this happen for a company? Can it happen for your company?
With the SocialEngine Platform anyone can build a community. However, the question still remains, how do you then get customers to get excited about the community you’ve built and about your brand?
What is Brand Loyalty at Its Core?
Brand loyalty is when a customer turns to you for everything related to your brand, niche or industry. Take Harley Davidson for example. A brand loyal Harley Davidson customer would contact the brand, visit a local retailer or turn to a brand forum or social media platform for:
- General help and advice regarding motorcycle products,
- Service recommendations related to motorcycle products,
- Advice on buying new motorcycles, used motorcycles and motorcycle related products,
- Places to find for sale new and used motorcycles and motorcycle related products, and
- Resources like book recommendations, links to videos , upcoming conference announcements, local motorcycle repair and maintenance classes, biker events in their area and general information on the cycling lifestyle
These customers wouldn’t consider contacting Honda, visiting a local Honda retailer or turning to a Honda brand forum or social media platform for the same information in a million years.
When you break it down this way, it’s easy to see the structure of brand loyalty. It’s also easy to see how to structure your brand in the same way from the beginning.
Sprout Social conducted a study in late 2015. They discovered that on average, businesses were ignoring over 80% of their customers’ requests via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Many of these same retailers are likely still scratching their heads, hiring experts and conducting board meetings to figure out how to increase brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty doesn’t come from one thing. Though you might hear people say, “Well it comes from …”
- Positioning yourself as an expert,
- Designing a stellar product line or offering an excellent service,
- Providing good customer service, or
- Making sure to engage with customers via social media
Yes. All of those things do play a part and will likely create a few loyal customers on their own. However, true brand loyalty on the largest scale is when your customers consider your brand a resource. You are the place they go for all their needs related to your niche or industry. Once you take the appropriate steps to become that for your target customer base, they will come to you.
According to Dictionary.Com, a resource is:
“A source of supply, support, or aid, especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed. “
- Who do you need to hire?
- What type of satellite branches do you need to open?
- What type of content do you need to publish online?
- What kind of free physical books do you need to publish and distribute?
- What types of events or classes do you need to host?
- What do you need to do …
… to be a true resource for your ideal customer?
Therefore, your approach to community building and community management should start somewhere like this:
Ask us anything regarding our niche, (within legal or ethical reason of course). We’ve built this platform for you to ask or say anything. Pour your heart out. Never stop talking to us. We care. We want to hear it. We will find the answers you need or compensate you for your trouble in some way with free stuff. Really, ask us anything. Contact us anytime day or night.
That’s all we’ve got for now! As always, if you are feeling inspired to get out there and build your own community, we encourage you to check out SocialEngine. Let us help you make your dreams of building your own social network a reality.