It’s not your number of brand followers that matter!
Of course Twitter will tell you followers are valuable. But does the number of brand followers really prove that your brand has value??
Quite simply, no. We can hear your counter-response… But if I have a lot of brand followers, isn’t that social proof of my brand’s value?
It is ONE tool to help build perception.
It’s also a dangerous trap to believe a brand is successful simply because it has a large number of followers or likes.
It’s not the number that proves value. This is because likes aren’t revenue and do not equate to brand awareness. The number of brand followers provides no quantifiable benchmark of awareness or value … although the TYPE of your followers may make a difference. But counting them like unhatched chickens isn’t going to get you there.
So wait, does that mean I DO need to build a following?
Stop focusing on numbers. Dig behind them to drive the quality of followers that can make a difference. To build that type of following, you must first provide quality content. In other words, provide transformation. Provide a substantive solution. Provide actual value to your target audience. Whether your brand makes people laugh, smile, or think, if your content is relevant and you provide meaningful change, then you will attract a target audience genuinely interested in you and your brand. That audience matters. Those brand followers CAN help expand your influence.
How do you do this? You’ve worked hard to create your brand. Don’t simply tell your target audience that your brand has value. Show them.
First, know your target audience and the problems they face on an emotional level. This takes work and doesn’t always remain static. Sometimes, your audience may not even be aware of the problem they have (Squatty Potty). Pick 1-3 client avatars, perhaps actual clients, and really consider who they are, beyond basic demographics. What makes them tick? What keeps them up at night? Are they afraid of going broke? Are they concerned with how people see them? Would they rather be broke and happy than wealthy and depressed? Do they keep up with the Joneses or run the other way? Famous or financially sound? Get to know your ideal client and what deep-rooted problems and dreams they have. THAT, in turn, will reveal how your brand provides value for them.
When you know your audience on an emotional level, then you can fully understand the value your brand provides.
Connect this value back to an emotional need. In other words, how do you want your target audience to feel when they purchase your brand? Do you want them to feel safe (Volvo)? Free (Harley Davidson)? Secure (Chase)? Happy (McDonald’s)? Imaginative (Disney)? Connected (Facebook)? When you make your target audience feel something at that emotional level, the value you provide will resonate. A padlock may be padlock, but if you leave your storage unit for months, locked with Masterlock, do you stay away at night?
Continue building a relationship with brand followers. Don’t assume they stay happy once you have them. Be flexible as needs change. Why do you think Apple rolls out new features with every iPhone? Don’t rest on your laurels. What worked last year will need to be updated and expanded this year.
Remember, provide different offerings to meet your target audience where they are in their journey with you. It takes time to build loyal, raving fans, and what brought your target audience in the door won’t keep them. Underlying needs may not change often, but what solves those needs will need to evolve with your audience.
Focus on providing value by connecting with an underlying emotional need that your target audience faces. That connection will help you attract brand followers that you need.