Many conversations about social media and online marketing center on measurement of ROI, detailed statistical analyses of engagement, or tech tools. Mack Collier proposes a change in attitude in his new book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into Fans.
Rock Stars, says Collier, don’t so much market to their customers as they connect with their fans.
Companies can identify and understand their fans, embrace and empower those fans, and empower their employees to connect with the company’s fans and to be fans themselves.
Some of the specific advice in the book is standard practice in marketing. Getting to know who your most enthusiastic customers are and developing an understanding of what it is about your brand that they like is a basic. But not all companies make an effort to reach out to their most loyal fans and give them the tools to be brand ambassadors — backstage passes, if you will.
Collier talks about the difference between influencers and fans, and how and why a company might choose to reach out to both. There are plenty of examples in the book of how companies have succeeded — and failed — with making direct connections with their fans. There are also examples of how Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift use social media for marketing.
My favorite point was that rock stars “find the Bigger Idea” behind their music, and companies should find the Bigger Idea behind their brand. Do your fans buy your healthy snack because they happen to want a snack or because it makes them feel like they’re being better moms? Do your clients come to you because they need a computer network set up or because they want their companies to grow?
Unless you’re selling a basic commodity, there is almost certainly a Bigger Idea. Consider the case of Fiskars, scissor manufacturers. Collier tells us that they discovered that their most ardent fans weren’t buying scissors to cut things — they were buying Fiskars to create. Fiskars embraced the crafting culture and focused their blogging and social media on crafting and crafters — and succeeded.
Collier shares a Facebook study which compared the results for three types of Facebook posts:
- Posts that promoted a product or company. (“Try our new annuity options!”)
- Posts that were related to a company. (“Retirement investment strategies for millennials: read more”)
- Posts that were unrelated to a company. (“Got big plans for the weekend?”)
Type 2 — things that were interesting to people who are interested in the bigger idea about the company — got the best response. Providing information that is useful to your customers, patients, and clients builds trust and loyalty.
Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into Fans is an entertaining read, and has some good lessons for you if you’re not sure how to approach social media — or if it’s clear to you that you’re not doing it right.
[Disclosure: The publisher of this book sent me a copy for review. I am not paid for reviews, and you know I always tell you the truth.]