I think businesses should invest in building friends, rather than fans…
Granted its better to have a fan, rather than a consumer – from a brand loyally perspective. However, a fan is just as loose as the next consumer. They may like your page, but that doesn’t come with a lifetime guarantee, or even a sale.
Fans come and go; things change. I have been a fan of many retail stores in my life, but as I grow my style continues to change and develop – of course that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t appreciate and engage with them.
By building a friend, brands will have the opportunity to reach beyond themselves and even their friend. I believe it is all in the approach. How you set yourself up online, across social media, and the tone of voice you adopt across your networks will be key to performance. Who you put in charge of this area matters. To have someone who knows how to tweet is ok, but to have someone who can understanding the heart of your business and how to communicate effectively to different kind of friends is even more important.
Starbucks campaign to personalise the customer experience and improve customer service was a great idea, and made a great splash in the world of business marketing. I have to wonder though if the great idea has lost some wind as its employees give up on getting even the simplest of names right.
See below for the latest misspelling of my name, even after I spelt it out loud for the lovely girl. After working with a prestigious car brand recently, where I helped manage their Facebook and Twitter community, I am slightly disappointed at the lack of response from StarbucksUK. If you want to be my friend Starbucks, I suggest you pick up on the service you provide. I may still buy your coffee, but how long for remains to be seen.
My tip: Build a business that lasts, by building friends, and engaging with fans.