Superfans are an excellent sales force. They love your business and tell your story. They are mavens who can't help but tell everyone why they buy from you and why everyone else should also buy from you.
There is no better form of marketing than word of mouth.
Fandom used to be associated only with the all-consuming, hysterical teeny-boppers who were obsessing over music, pop-icons, fashion and culture and demanding more from the brands they love. But now that we are armed with some phenomenal digital tools we have the amazing opportunity to create a direct two-way access with our superfans. More and more brands are using the direct to consumer model through the internet and social media. The growing trend of influencer marketing is also using social media to create massive influence on products.
We are all a fan of something but superfans are different in that they are engaged, obsessed even. Superfans are emotionally invested in your brand and naturally spend a lot of their personal time and energy talking about you, your brand, your values, your mission, your activities etc.
Superfans are your secret weapon to marketing and you want them in your corner so that you can form and harness the power of your (super)fandom.
Here are four ways to create superfans for your business:
#1 - Identify
The first step towards harnessing the power of your fandom is to identify the fans from the superfans. Distinguish between who is just a repeat customer and who is a superfan. I buy from Amazon on a regular basis but I am definitely not a superfan.
You can do this by using the data you have on your customers - both on your website and your social media platforms. Determine your active followers on social media and analyse their comments, how they react to your content and how they talk about your brand to others. Are they on any Refer A Friend or Affiliate schemes that you have? Product reviews are another great place to find (and segment) your superfans.
The ones you are looking for are the ones that believe in your cause - your brand values and your mission. They don't just like what you do; they are emotionally invested. Like mavens, they can't help but talk about your brand and how it has transformed their lives.
#2 - Reward
Once you know who your superfans are, you can start to create your fandom by instilling a sense of belonging and community in which they speak the same dialect and share the same views and values.
At Jersey Beauty Company, we do this in a number of ways but two that work particularly well for us is First Look and Affiliates. First look is giving our superfans first dibs or first try of brand new products and they give us their feedback by being the first people to write reviews on the website. Affiliates benefit by being able to build their own businesses.
You can use VIP points, reward points, events - anything that gives your superfans a reason to belong.
Rewards programs are valuable, but your customers also appreciate being recognised for their engagement and participation with your brand. It's not a simple case of, if you spend a shed load of money with us we'll give you reward points. Instead, reward them for their engagement.
Make them feel special and like they are a part of your community. Consider offering points to your loyalty program participants who frequently engage with you on social media and make them feel special and important. Invest deeply in rewarding your superfans and understand what their motivations are.
#3 - Empower (to transform)
Empower your superfans by giving them tools to transform.
CrossFit have set a great example of identifying their superfans, rewarding and empowering them. One of the ways they do this is through the Workout of the Day (WOD). A different workout every day is emailed out to all CrossFit members. The WOD is interesting and effective and gets the people talking and coming back for more. Crossfit have created a community that works out together in the "box" - which is their language for gym. They also have t-shirts for purchase in every box that once again is symbolic of their community.
CrossFitters are naturally evangelising because they have experienced a personal transformation - not in just their bodies becoming leaner, stronger and more energised but they have transformed into more motivated and disciplined versions of themselves. And most importantly for them, they are part of a community that is encouraging and pushing them to keep transforming. Crossfit has exploded as a result.
With every superfan there is a transformation. At JBC the transformation is in the customers skin and their renewed or newfound confidence. As a business you need to understand the transformation process and help your customers understand the transformation they have experienced by giving them words to describe it.
Keep your superfans close and allow them to be a part your brand. Make sure your fandom is the first to know about any upcoming events or any stories related to your brand through dedicated emails or perhaps a Facebook group. No matter what channel or channels you use, help your fandom identify their transformation and make them proud of it. Enable them to talk about their transformation to others. The more they talk the greater success your brand will have.
#4 - Engage
Get a good understanding of what platforms your superfans are hanging out on and engage with them there. Consistent engagement with your fandom will increase their loyalty and your marketing.
Social media platforms are a great way to engage your fandom. Make use of Facebook pages, hashtags and forums and build your fandom community. Tell them transformation stories about others in your community and encourage them to share their own. Ask them questions. Get them involved.
The role of superfans is invaluable to your business. They are on the front lines sharing your mission and values and growing your business. Superfans are the key to long term business success.
Reach out on instagram @mattedmundson and tell us your stories. If you have any questions or ideas, we'd love to hear those too!