Did you know there are over 2 dozen videos on YouTube of Lady Gaga crying during one of her concerts? Most involve her breaking down in response to something her fans have done, but then there’s this video. In that video, a teenager is in line to get Gaga’s autograph, and he’s crying because he’s about to meet Gaga. When he gets up to Gaga he breaks down, and Gaga reaches for him and hugs him for several seconds, then signs his CD, kisses it, and gives it to him. She then says ‘I love you’, and hugs him again.
If you are trying to understand why Lady Gaga is currently the hottest pop/rockstar on the planet, those 30 or so seconds explain all.
It also shows you what you are up against if you are trying to build fans around your social media efforts. If you want to have REAL fans of your brand, or fans of your blog, or your company.
Here’s four more reasons why your efforts aren’t working:
1 – You aren’t participating in the community you are trying to build. Believe it or not, communities do not form around the idea of being monetized. Any community, even one as small as a blog, needs to be cultivated and grown from within. That means you have to be a member of the community you are trying to reach. You have to interact with them, and understand them. More importantly, you have to WANT to do this. If your prime motivation is to collect people in a spot so you can make money off them, your efforts are doomed from the start. And the people you are trying to make money from will smell it a mile off.
You mean you’ve never answered a comment on your blog, and now you wonder why readers have stopped leaving them? It’s the simple stuff, guys.
2 – You aren’t shifting control. By definition, I believe a community is a group of people that have a shared sense of ownership in something larger than themselves. Every member knows that they play a role, no matter how large or small, in shaping the larger community. As your fan-building efforts begin to take root, some members will become more active and begin to take ownership of the growth and vitality of the community. You want to encourage this because as you shift ownership to the community, they will feel empowered and energized. But if you are too fearful and controlling, it’s like cutting off sunshine to a growing plant.
Find the people that are pushing your community forward, and put the spotlight on them. These are YOUR rockstars, and they deserve their time on stage.
3 – Your efforts are focused on the product, not the customer. Please tell me that you don’t think you can create a community of customers that want to come together and tell you how amazing your product is! Seriously? Focus instead on HOW your customers use your product. What problem does it solve? How does it fit into their lifestyle? What benefits do they get from the product?
Focus your community-building efforts on the ‘bigger idea’ behind your product. Here’s some ideas for reframing your efforts, do you want to focus on…
Your cameras……..or photography?
Your luggage for business execs……or travel for busy business execs?
Your eco-friendly outerwear………or conservationism and saving the environment?
Your home decorating products……or home decorating?
Reframing your efforts to create value for the customers you are trying to reach makes it MUCH easier to attract members, and have them take ownership in your community and evangelize it to others.
4 – You don’t embrace the people you are trying to reach. We aren’t idiots. We get that you have to make money off your efforts, but if you truly don’t care about us as people, we will pick up on that and your efforts are doomed from the start. This one is really a ‘you’ve either got it, or you don’t’ proposition. You can’t fake passion for us, and we won’t fake passion for you.
It’s very rare that companies have true fans and evangelists. It’s not that they can’t, but it’s almost always because they aren’t willing to do the things necessary to spark enough of a connection in their customers that they would label themselves as a ‘fan’ of that company.
Hey if it was easy, anyone could be a rockstar…
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