When it comes to social media engagement, there is nothing better than an active fan. Active fans are fans and followers who talk about you, post about you, and create content about you. The reason these fans are so important is because they are the force behind your word of mouth marketing efforts. They do a lot of the work for you. Don't forget that the more engaged you are as a brand, the more engaged your fans will be. Active fans are engaged fans!
Now that we know that active fans are a win for your social media strategy, how do you get them, and more importantly how do you keep them active?
6 Ways To Activate Your Social Media Fans
1. Host A Contest
I go into depth on this topic in my article about how and why contests increase social media engagement. Contests are great for engagement and interaction between brand and fan because they often have a lot of built in viral aspects. Entering to win is one way to make a fan more active and engaged. Take it to the next level by asking the contestant to do something to win. This can be uploading a photo of what inspires them, writing an essay about why they want to be the next famous travel blogger, or creating a video about your brand to be featured on your youtube channel. There are tons of different types of contests that you can host. I particularly like this one below hosted by Swiss International Air Lines and Johnny Jet, a travel blogger. (Unfortunately I didn't win, however, I did tweet and post about it. I was engaged.)
2. Encourage Them To Post Pictures Of Your Product With A Specific Hashtag
Rebecca Minkoff is a purse designer which makes this type of content great. Firstly, people love to take photos of their outfits. There is a huge trend around "regular" people posting what they wear. Some bloggers who do this have even become famous for it, like Cupcakes & Cashmere. Rebecca Minkoff and her team jumped on this and are getting a ton of content that they can use sourced from their fans. To make a promotion like this work, you have to encourage your users to post pictures through blog posts, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, G+ posts, Pins and Tweets. It might even take a few times to catch on. When trying this style of engagement, make sure you use the same hashtag each time. You have to brand it!
3. Give Them A Shoutout
FFans want to be heard. And often times they want to see themselves on the big screen, on your Facebook page, or on your blog. Never underestimate the cross promotional value of giving your fans their 5 minutes of fame. The Hunger Games gives credit to their fans really well. In this particular example, The Hunger Games has created an app that showcases their fans of the week. How do you get noticed? Start blogging and creating content about The Hunger Games, of course. You can take this same approach even if you don't have it in your budget to create an app. You can simply do a Fan of The Week blog post or even just a Tweet. By giving your fans the impression that they might be featured, it will increase the likeliness that they will share content about your brand.
4. Regram Their Instagram Photos
Along the same lines as "Fan of the Week," this is a tactic you can take to Instagram. Blue Print Cleanse often features photos that others post on their official feed. This works well because it gives Blue Print Cleanse the ability to source more content as well as strengthening the bond between fan and brand.
5. Respond To Them & Retweet Them
This is really a no-brainer. At the very least, you need to be responding and retweeting your fans. It shows that you care and that you are listening. See my article about Twitter Engagement for more on this topic.
6. Give Them Control
This is a ballsy move, but one that can turn out in your favor. Sweden hands over their Twitter handle to a different citizen each week. I think this is brilliant! However, it could go awfully wrong if it is in the wrong hands. If you are going to try something like this, I commend you, just make sure you have your legal agreements in order.
How do you activate your fans?