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Are customers the true BFF’s?

December 21, 2008

Remember the retail rule that 80% of business comes from 20% of the customers? Even it it isn’t true, the sentiment of it is. Every product or service has a fan base of loyal customers (if it doesn’t, there’s a good chance it’s not long for the world).

So, when thinking about the fan base in social media, think about what you would call that base. What if we decided to call those 20% our Best Friends?

This is your best friend

This is your best friend

At its core, social media is really about helping friends connect to friends. Facebook does this well, but then so does Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Bebo, and even Flickr and YouTube. They all help people find their friends and share with them. they even use terms marketers can get their heads around. Things like fan/follow/friend. These are all terms that can apply to the most loyal purchasers of a product.

So, now is the time to think about how a brand is letting them talk about how much they love a product. Are they posting pictures of themselves using it on Flickr? Are they posting video testimonials about how great it is on Viddler?

Does the brand even know?

When I read that brands are wary of getting into social media, I smile. Their customers, especially the best ones, are already there, talking up the brand. The best way to “get into social media” is to find a way to let your best customers talk louder about your company.

That could be inserts into packages. It could be on package words that replace “Questions: call 800-Who-Cares”. Or, ‘Visit http://www.brand.com”, presumably to be bored out of your tree. Or it could start with listening. And then setting a goal for turning the BFF’s into advocates.

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