A critical part of developing your own brand is developing a fan base for it. People are the backbone of your business and having a relationship with them creates a foundation built on loyalty and trust, and as a result potentially leads to your increased profits.
One of the best ways to start developing these relationships is to establish similar interests between you and your customers. This comes through in your basic brand messaging – in other words, how you communicate online.
Once you’ve identified your target market, you need to define the demographic and the psychology of that group. What matters to them? What’s the best way to engage them? Work on finding the correct tone – one that doesn’t make them feel as though you’re speaking above or below them, but directly to them. As you start to talk and think and act like your target market, you’ll gain trust. Your customers will decide that you are one of them, you are part of their tribe. Once they trust you, you’re in.
The ease with which your customers will let you into their lives once they trust you, shows how vital it is that your brand reflects the group that you’re trying to communicate with.
The top brands in advertising do just that. Specifically the top brands on Facebook show the corporate stars in companies that are connected well with their customers. As of October 2011 the number of “likes” on Facebook show that these companies have created a successful brand: Coca Cola 34.5 million likes, Starbucks 25.5 million likes, Oreo 23.1 million likes, Red Bull 22.4 million likes, Converse Allstar 20.8 million likes, and Skittles 19.4 million likes. Entertainers are brands as well and the number of Facebook likes for Lady Gaga (61.7 million likes in October 2011) and Rihanna with 57.5 millions likes show that they are connecting with their fans.
The fans of these brands feel that they have a one way communication with these companies and entertainers. It’s as though they have a direct personal relationship with them.
Facebook is very powerful in being able to communicate in this way – through visual and through words. These connections help people connect to brands and help them to perceive a relationship.