The age old saying, ‘if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’ provides a great visual (for us nature-lovers) for the frequent misses of some of the best marketing material available – your fans. The idea is this – fans of your brand and products are already sharing and engaging with you in ways that feel completely natural to them, and are already an integral part of their daily lives: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram – there are others, of course, but we’re focusing on the largest and most influential. These fans are flooding your brands’ social channels, whether it be when they’re at home, the mall, at work (shh! we won’t tell your boss), out running errands, at concerts, etc.. They’re not only leaving enthusiastic testimonials (defined here as positive expressions about your brand), uploading and sharing pictures of your products, and complementing you on your outstanding customer service, but they’re actually comparing you to your competitors and sharing why you’re better – a marketers’ ultimate dream.
Content Goldmine from Social Networks
Social Media Marketers have a content goldmine at their fingertips – but more often than not, all of that authentic, free, engaging social fan content gets lost in the forest, never to be leveraged or showcased. Placing these fans in context of your site or in an email campaign provides the social proof and consumer confidence that soon-to-be fans need in converting a visitor to a fan, activating old fans, and keeping current fans loyal.
If you’re thinking you don’t have enough social content, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you actually do have. It’s probably one of the most common responses I hear, and the response that I always get excited about, because when I’m able to show them how much social content they actually have, their pleasantly surprised reaction always makes me smile. For example, in speaking with a brand the other day, they immediately saw the value in using customer testimonials from social, but were concerned about the amount of content they actually had to work with. Upon diving into it, I was able to show them that they had 1,269 social comments from the last 3 months across Twitter and Facebook that they could use right away – these would have otherwise been untouched and not used to their advantage. The gears started turning and they immediately rattled off at least 4 different ways they could use this right off the bat. Not too shabby!
Story Telling 101
Don’t let your best, most valuable story-telling tools get lost in the forest – it’s the fans, the passion, and the stories that people really listen to. Put those fans and their loyal, tweeting thumbs where they’re going to help you most – on your site, product pages, checkout pages, or in a targeted email campaign. You’ll grow your existing fan base while being able to leverage your current one.
…And while we may have solved this mystery, we’re still testing out theories on falling trees.