Brand in hot water? Fan loyalty to the rescue!

November 18th, 2011 by | 1 Comment

Fostering a Community Can Boost a Brand

Image by Photos by Mavis

Deeply engaging with communities developed around your brand is one of the most important aspects of Internet marketing. It’s what makes it so much effective as a marketing model—setting it apart from the traditional advertising model that capitalized on one-sided announcements than actual conversations. And to be able to fully take advantage of these conversations, brands need to foster a sincere relationship with the people who believe in them.

 A healthy online relationship can bring about brand loyalty. And in social media, this loyalty can be instrumental in driving a brand to the top.

In a previous blog post, we talked about how loyalty can take a brand far. In it, we looked at two shows, Firefly and Chuck, as two modern examples of brands with fiercely loyal fans—all willing and committed to keep them from getting flushed out of the boob tube. The fans were able to rescue Chuck through proactive means they themselves initiated; Firefly suffered cancelation but it fans remain loyal even years after, and still hoping for it to get resurrected.

#SaveCommunity #sixseasonsandamovie…. if community is cancelled? I’ll die. I will literally stop breathing… And die.Fri Nov 18 06:54:32 via Twitter for iPhone

Yep, “fiercely loyal” sounds about right.

Community, a hugely popular TV sitcom, is yet another show that’s dangerously close to getting the axe.

Recognizing the power of fostering an online community of fans through the social Web, the people behind it heavily leveraged on the social media platform to market the show. And because of the show’s multi-platform engagements online, fans have latched themselves to celebrating the show’s every episode through the many dedicated fan sites, fan-created multimedia content (like fan art, videos, etc) mentions on the social networks, and discussions on message boards.

In the last few days, a huge uproar soared through the social Web from fans of the TV show after its parent network NBC decided to bench the sitcom from their midseason lineup. Fans took to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and multiple blogs, and jumpstarted various initiatives to save the show they love. This includes online petitions, direct clamoring to NBC execs through e-mails and even sending goatee cutouts (an item that references one of the best episodes of the show) to NBC, and telling everyone else online to do the same.

The site was set up for helping the fans form large groups of supporters rally for the show. They’ve even made it easier to spread the word using several social buttons. And on Twitter, fans opened multiple accounts to spread awareness, with hashtags like #SaveCommunity and #sixseasonsandamovie (referencing something one character had said) getting used by followers to get everyone involved, and to get the attention of NBC and the show’s sponsors.

Another potentially effective tactic echoes something that helped save Chuck: supporting advertisers. Followers have been spreading a list of Community advertisers on a Google Doc spreadsheet. The intention here is to start letting these companies know that fans are watching the show live and are thus seeing the advertisements.

Obviously, many other ingenious strategies can be mapped out using this list, but since it’s only been a few days, we’ll have to wait for what other strategies fans will develop around it. Needless to say, all these efforts are powered by loyalty from fans.

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