Written by Frank Cristiano on May 24, 2012
in Brand Strategy
Even the best marketers continue to search for genuine, sustainable and robust brand engagement. Some brands do a great job of creating customers who become fanatics on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and committed customers. We don’t need to look very far to find some prime examples, just think of Apple and Tim Hortons. These brands have created great relationships with their customers. Some might even call it true love.
But many brands struggle to develop these types of relationships. And as far as I know, there aren’t any dating sites that connect brands to customers. Perhaps asking yourself a few key questions could help you along the journey to creating genuine engagement:
What type of relationship are you looking for?
How does your organization define engagement? The word engagement itself speaks to ongoing conversation between the brand and customer almost like a happy marriage.
Who is doing all the talking?
Like any relationship, this question is a little more complicated. Any brand will need to start the conversation with their customers. Even Apple and Tim Hortons had to spark this dialogue to sweep its customers off their feet. But a brand can’t stand in the town square proclaiming their value and relevance for very long without quickly annoying and driving their customers away. Just “like” some brand pages on Facebook and see how quickly the daily posts force you to block them.
Do you know who you’re getting involved with?
Who is your key audience? If a brand wants to have their customers listen and engage, they have to consistently deliver relevant and actionable content that allows customers to address their immediate needs. So, make sure you understand your ideal audience, what motivates them and how, when and why they interact with brands online and offline.
Are you ready for a long-term relationship?
Engagement isn’t a fling or one night stand – it’s not a single interaction. It’s not a typical social activity like re-tweeting an offer. It’s not even as easy as selling your customer a specific product or service. Engagement is an ongoing conversation between you and your customers. It’s largely on their terms. And you better be willing to listen. Like any relationship creating brand engagement requires hard work, understanding, clear communication and ongoing commitment.
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