Social Media & Brand Champions – Build It and They Will Use It

Kimberly Snyder

I recently attended a session at Internet Retailer 2008 Conference which focused on Social Networking. I was wary that the session would once again focus on why Social Media is growing and that it is a great marketing opportunity – which I have heard over and over for the past 24 months.

I really wanted the discussion to pivot around real life examples where marketers are utilizing these viral sites to sell their product and promote their brand. Heather Dougherty, Director of Research at Hitwise, gave me exactly what I was craving – a compelling and thought provoking session packed with great examples that I could internalize and run with.

I was inspired to re-think my overall concept on how marketers can empower consumers to become their “brand’s fans.”

As we all know, or at least have been told, Social Networks can build brand awareness and brand loyalty virally. Consumers of all ages are continually creating and updating their MySpace or Facebook pages with creative pulled from here, there and everywhere. Savvy marketers should be enabling their “brand’s fans” by giving consumers digital content that can simply be pulled down from your corporate site.

Consumers are yearning to be your brand’s advocate. Marketers should embrace these adoring consumers with a passion by building multiple badges to be displayed on their MySpace and Facebook accounts. According to the Facebook FAQ, “A badge is a customizable clip of your Facebook profile that you can share on other web sites. You can choose what information (e.g. picture, name, birthday, mobile number, etc) to show on your badge. The badge will be visible to anyone you want, even non-Facebook users.”

Zappos badges

Zappos has brilliantly created nine unique badges for their “brand’s fans”. Zappos asks their consumers, “Do you heart Show off your love for on your MySpace pages and blogs with these buttons.” Zappos clearly understands that if they build the creative and make it easy to grab their consumers will not only use it but use it everywhere. Now that is just beautiful.

Kimberly Snyder
Account Manager at Bronto