The general chatter in the digital space these days seems focussed on influencers and brand advocates. People argue incessantly about the merits (or none) of influence measurement platforms like Klout and Kred.
Brands And Bribery
And one of the biggest concerns from brands seems to be this: “How can I get my extremely engaged and supportive community members to actually be brand ambassadors?”
The crux of this question seems to be remuneration. How do we (Brand X) motivate and inspire our top community members towards active advocacy, without muddying the ethical waters with payouts or bribery?
If you want to learn more about creating a loyal community, head on over to Spin Sucks and check out the Livefyre chat with Sarah Robinson. The author of “Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities“, she has loads of great insight into growing your online community, and engaging and exciting the one you already have.
But I digress. Back to my story.
Because my story will illustrate just how powerful real, personalized one to one contact is. How important that contact is to the person on the receiving end. And just how (relatively) easy it is to create a passionate and loyal brand advocate.
Meet Sheri A. Bell. Sheri, besides having a most elegant surname, is a member of my community. I can’t remember how I met her – she’s an amazing writer and editor, is lovely and wonderful, and we hit it off (probably making jokes about our shared last name – no relation BTW).
One Wednesday, one really really bad Wednesday, I was having a beer at my local, and she and I were chatting on Twitter. I must have mentioned something about my residual guilt issues around drinking (in general) and drinking (specifically) on a weeknight.
So, she sent me a “virtual” Free Drink ticket! Her message went something like this “Look, you’ve had a hard day, enough with the guilts, here’s a free drink ticket, enjoy it and relax!!”
Well, if that wasn’t fantabulous enough, right!? Guilt free beer!!
Surprise And Delight
But no. Sheri, God love her, has sent me a Free Drink ticket tweet *every single Wednesday* since then. I’m talking for over three months! In some I’m directed to “have something fruity!” In others “have a shot – straight up!” And my drink ticket after I announced my new job at Arment Dietrich….? Well, a case of champagne, of course!
These simple tweets never fail to surprise and delight me. They make me laugh, feel special, and remind me that someone out there learned something about me, remembered it, and has made an effort to brighten my day on a weekly basis.
I’ll tell you one thing. I hope she never stops (though I’m giving you an out, Sheri. But only if you send me the entire virtual ROLL of tickets! LOL).
I’ll tell you another thing. If Sheri A. Bell were a brand….? I would be the loudest, proudest and most fiercely loyal of ANY of her brand ambassadors.
Getting the picture now, brands? It’s that easy. Reach out to your community. Twig on something personal or unique about a couple of your top dogs. Then do something to surprise and delight them.
And yes, it can be as simple as a weekly tweet.
Do you know Sheri? What wonderful things has a brand (or a person!) done to surprise and delight you? Please share your thoughts and comments!