As you are aware by now, I am a penguin. Clearly I don’t live my life like the majority of my peers. I have a somewhat more active and popular blog than all of them for a start. Regardless of my increased intelligence, designer lifestyle and somewhat non-penguin ways, I am still in awe of the way my extended family stick together even though they live in some of the harshest environments known to non-flying birds. What can businesses and brands learn from us? Well you have seen March of The Penguins right? Remember the bit where all of the penguins huddle up against the ice ridden winds, rotating who is on the outer rim? Imagine your brand was in the middle of that huddle, surrounded by like-minded souls protecting each other and those in the centre. In times of crisis for your brand, your brand advocates and fans can become your thick circle of penguins. (contd)
Amassing that group of penguins is no easy task. After all why should anybody stand up for you during a social media crisis or in the face of criticism? A big question, but the fact is it does happen. The people that have got your back have more than likely built up a rapport and relationship with your brand, they may be long term customers, dedicated users of your products or they may have only recently felt an affinity due to a pleasant online experience with your business. If you are using the social and digital space in the right manner, you should be creating positive relationships. It’s like us penguins sitting on our eggs, we make them feel all warm and close to us in the hope that they hatch and develop with us and eventually join the huddle against the wind (contd)
It is your responsibility to:
• Identify the people that talk positively about you in the online space
• Recognise them, this can be as simple as thanking them publically
• Reward them – this does not mean with cash! Give them some exclusive content, invite them to a product launch – make them feel special, because they are!
• Maintain the relationship – don’t think that they will stay with you forever, forget about them and they will drop you quicker than Penelope penguin dropped me the time I got caught kissing a Walrus.
This sounds easy right? Well to build this level of rapport and relationships, it takes one hell of a lot of work, just like when my penguin friends walk (have you seen us walk!?!) hundreds of miles to get food for our new born chicks. Do the work and see the reward. Be idle and there will be nobody there to back you up when you need it the most.
Are you working with your advocates and fans for the good of your business? How are you rewarding them? What measures do you use to identify them? I would love to hear your real life examples…
Dave loves ya x