From Taylor Swift’s adoring “Swifties,” to Lady Gaga’s feisty “Little Monsters,” Justin Bieber’s dedicated “Beliebers,” and Beyonce’s fierce “Beyhive,” there are lots of passionate fan bases out there. My favorite has to be J.Lo’s sassy J.Lovers, or the new crowd of Lizzo’s unified “Lizzbians.”
But cutesy names aside, these music superstars have built a tribe of loyal supporters who will unconditionally stream their albums, buy their concert tickets, don their merchandise, and spread the love for years to come.
If brands want to grow their audiences, they should be singing from the same song sheet as these musicians.
Rather than always chasing down new leads, companies should strive to build a community of repeat customers who become enthusiastic brand ambassadors. By deepening their connection with the brand, they are more likely to come back, refer their friends, and market your company on your behalf. Yes, please!
This approach fosters something called social proof — a psychological phenomenon indicating that people are especially influenced by the actions of others.
With this strategy, everybody wins! You spend more time nurturing your existing customers, thus making them happier with their brand experience. Your referred leads walk into the brand relationship with a higher level of trust, and more trust means more conversions.
How to Turn Your Customers into Loyal Fans
- Remember that your customers are people. Sometimes when business owners are so caught up worrying about their bottom line, they see every customer as a metric. Change your mindset here and remember that your customers are humans with real emotions, frustrations, and attitudes. Then, come to their rescue with a solution!
- Personalize the experience. Whenever you can, demonstrate that you know your customers. Make notes in your CRM to help you keep track of their birthdays, special milestones, or life happenings.
- Go beyond automation. Any brand can use their email automation system to trigger a happy birthday email. Make a lasting impression by sending a handwritten card with a small gift, or comping their order. Set aside a small budget called “surprise and delight” to cover cards, balloons, or gifted items. You will earn your money back 10x over simply through your customer’s enduring loyalty.
- Remember your customer’s name, and use it often. Dale Carnegie, the author of the iconic book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, once said:“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Address your customer by name every chance you get. It’s a small gesture that means a lot.
- Put their name in lights. Any opportunity to feature your customer on a large scale will make them feel special. If you know they’re visiting your brick-and-mortar shop for the first time, write their name on a welcome sign. Feature their photo on social media or ask for a quote for a quick testimonial and tag them in your post.
- Unify your audience with a branded hashtag. User-generated content is one of your most powerful social media tools to leverage. Add fuel to the fire by collecting all of your UGC via a branded hashtag. This gives your audience an easy mechanic to create a brand impression. Plus it will make them feel like they are part of something bigger. It creates a hangout space for members of your tribe to connect. Bonus idea: create a Facebook Group vs. a Business Page.
Your Tribe is the Gift That Keeps on Giving
Community really is everything if you want to create a brand that spreads and lasts. Stop brainstorming ways to sell to your audience, and instead look for ways to serve them, Their appreciation will manifest as more loyalty, more referrals, and more sales.
Now go stream your favorite artist and make a list of how you can go the extra mile for your customers! Your superfans are out there waiting to cheer you on.
Are you ready to build a loyal customer base? Start by downloading my free empathy map template so you can REALLY get to know your audience.