Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

Be Their Social Valentine: Go From Like to Love

RoseHappy Valentine’s Day (week)! Traditionally, it’s a time to drop lots of money on flowers and candy to express gratitude for the ones you love. If you’re fortunate, those people even love you back. For brands, this courtship plays itself out on social.

Getting a Facebook “Like” can be a heady experience for brand. You should be swept off your feet if a consumer willingly clicks that thumbs up button and publicly expresses a fondness for your product or service. But after that initial attraction, your fan is going to want the relationship to grow. Sadly, far too many brands are happy with “Like,” the cheap one-night stands of the social network world.

When a consumer Likes a brand, all they’re really saying is, “Okay, you caught my eye. I’m interested. Let’s see where this thing goes.” You, as the suitor, have to then either close the deal, or set the fan free to Like and build a satisfying relationship with someone else. Like is merely a first step.

From there, brands should be diligently focused on turning Likes into loves. Simply gathering fans and putting notches in your iPad for every conquest results in little more than empty bragging rights. It’s not going to get you what you really want out of a relationship with your customer.

To get that, you have to get engaged. Getting engaged, just as in the real world, means making an obvious, ongoing commitment to a relationship that’s going to last, that’s going to work, and that’s going to be healthy for both parties involved.

Think about what love does for us:

  • It makes us feel good about ourselves
  • We know the other person will be there for us
  • It gives us someone to do nice things for
  • It gives us someone who’ll be honest with us
  • It gives us someone to build a family with

The value proposition for brands to turn Like into love isn’t much different.

  • Fans make us feel good about our product  
  • As long as we don’t betray or neglect them, they’ll be there for us  
  • They give us someone to make happy  
  • They’ll be honest with us, even if what they’re telling us is difficult to hear  
  • They help us grow our family of fans

None of this is possible if you stop at Like. How do we move them from somewhat interested to head over heels? Easy. We love them back. As Glenn Close told us when she cooked Michael Douglas’ pet rabbit, people don’t like to be ignored.

When you love someone, you care about how they feel, you care about what they think, you spend time with them, you make them feel like they’re the most important person in the world to you. It’s human nature…we like people who like us. The minute your fans feel like they’re taken for granted and doing all the giving in the relationship, the magic is gone.

As the Dr. Phil of brands on social, we at Oracle Social are mastering the socially enabled enterprise, with technology tools that help brands and organizations listen to fans, get to know them intimately, solicit their opinion, and deepen the engagement that can create true brand love stories for the digital ages.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

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