Turn Your Social Media Followers into Brand Loyalists

We all know the power of positive word of mouth. Seventy-four percent of customers have said it’s a key influencer when deciding on a purchase. Word of mouth marketing has grown tremendously on social media. Users now have access to a worldwide stage to voice their opinions and these opinions can have an affect on other users, for better or for worse.

We all fear the possibility of being publicly shamed on social media, so how do you encourage positive word of mouth instead? It turns out the best defense is a good offense. Influencing your followers to be brand loyalists will not only help others become more aware of your brand, but will also encourage loyalty in other followers.

Create captivating imagery and compelling content

Producing high quality content aimed specifically at your audience will inspire audience engagement, and a keen understanding of your audience is essential to creating such compelling shareable content.

What interests your audience? Encourage them to engage by asking questions and by providing a place to share ideas. Nutella’s Facebook page is a perfect example. Nutella loves to share fun new ways to enjoy their product, and their audience loves them for it! You can tell by the number of reactions, comments, and shares they receive that they understand their audience well.

Respond to your audience on social media

Continually monitoring mentions of your company is crucial to delivering a quick and effective response. On Twitter, one of the top social media platforms for complaining about brands, over 70% of those complaints go unanswered. If a company does respond, it takes an average of 12 hours to do so. To stand out as a company that cares for your consumer, closely monitor all mentions of your brand. This will give you the opportunity to quickly intervene to change a brand adversary to a brand loyalist.

JetBlue’s customer service and attention to mentions is another great example of this. A twitter user tweeted that his TV wasn’t working on his flight. JetBlue was quick to respond. Not only did they respond with empathy, they offered a credit for the customer’s trouble. This was all done in less than 30 minutes from his initial complaint. How did he respond? He tweeted, “One of the fastest and better Customer Service: @JetBlue! Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.”

Generate quality experiences offline to encourage your brand loyalists to sing your praises.

One way to inspire followers to become your brand loyalists on social media is to go above and beyond in guest service. So much that the user can’t help to share how awesome you are. Ritz Carlton is a fantastic example.

Coming home from a family trip, a young boy left his favorite stuffed giraffe, “Joshie,” at the hotel. The only way the father could console the boy was to tell him Joshie was “taking an extra long vacation at the resort.” The father called the Ritz Carlton at which they had stayed and the beloved toy was recovered. The giraffe was quickly shipped back to the boy, along with pictures of “Joshie” enjoying his vacation – relaxing in a lounge chair, getting a massage, and so on. The outstanding customer service inspired the father to write an article on the Huffington Post that went viral.

How will you encourage your brand loyalists?

These are only some of the best practices to encourage your followers to become positive marketing representatives for your company. What other ways have you discovered when developing your social media marketing strategy?

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Heather Richards
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