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Thursday, April 7

I Want One Million Fans. I Want Them Now!

If you are in new media/digital media/ social media, one of the briefs which you may get from some clients is - I want 1 mn fans! Having a large fan following in itself is not a crime:-) But few crucial questions that tend to be blatantly ignored are...

1. To Follow What. The bigger question to answer before the 1 million number is 'what cause to follow'? Is the product or the over-abused passion points - cricket, Bollywood, music worth following especially on say the facebook page of the brand.

You can use media monies to buy fans. But they won't be worth much if you haven't answered the central question of 'to follow what?' And this requires a deep think and strategic alignment with your long term marketing plans. Else it's a tactical gimmick.

Gloat over the short term gain. But that's where the game will end.

2. A Facebook Fan is Not Really A Fan:-) Facebook is a funny country. It works on lazy likeonomics. To unlike is too much of work. To be a fan is effortless. So fans accumulated like a bargain hunt don't really count for much if they are not truly engaged. It's obvious but often over-looked - when nurturing your fan base, go for quality and not quantity alone!

3. The New Definition of ROI. Just because Social Media has the word 'media' built into it doesn't make it akin to a mass media platform. It's fundamentally different. Because it's 2-way, people-to-people interaction and has a complex web like multi-way talk & feedback system unlike the fixed channels of mass media! The 'investment' must be in 'interactions'. A fundamental difference from our mass media upbringing.

What we should really be obsessed with is the 'level-of-interaction'. Once we have got our brand in the middle of the most interactive conversations, then an ROI on the efforts makes sense. But before that all talk of ROI is a lot less meaningful...

As businessmen, entrepreneurs and brand owners, let's obsess about making our brands social and not just do social.

For questions, queries, business please connect with me on mannsinha@gmail.com
I run a brand 2.0 consultancy called Once Upon A Time and use social media to promote my hospitality brand -Cinnamon Stays with small success! The lessons learnt are personal and over the last 5 years!!

Social Media is a lot like farming. It requires time, patience, perspective, nurturing and passion! The cold hunting instincts are less effective here:-)

PS. The picture above is that of the San Francisco Scooter Girls - a girl riding community. It was founded on the belief that women have their own place in riding culture that's very different from the traditional biker scene.

The SF Scooter Girls website features photos of each member showing off her highly personalized ride. Disco bikes. Flower-covered bikes.

And although these women can choose to ride any manufacturer's scooter, their passion for Vespa, even though they have no affiliation with the company, creates a strong brand statement on its own. Scooty - few learnings from here?!

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