What’s that, up in the cloud? Are they birds? Are they planes? No, they’re superfans! More posts and comments about you (5 – 10 per day) than a speeding bullet! Willing to wait in lines longer than the tallest building! Errr…perhaps the metaphor is not the slam-dunk I thought it was. Regardless, superfans are real, and they take advantage of today’s social technologies to answer customer service questions, review products, and generally tout their favorite companies on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for all the world to see. They generate plenty of content and social buzz for you. They love you.
Treat them right, though, and they can do more than love you: in addition to having high lifetime values and making plenty of repeat purchases themselves, they can help you acquire lots of new customers. According to a 2012 Forrester study (cited here by Fortune’s Kurt Wagner), 46% of people trust consumer-written reviews, more than three times the 15% of people who trust social media posts directly from brands. These superfans are not just prolific in their marketing for you — they’re trusted.
By engaging these superfans in a way that makes them feel that you value them, they can effectively and inexpensively spread your message. And if you engage them with referral marketing, you’ll be giving your most vociferous, most loyal proponents the tools to direct more people right to your door. Some may be popular, spreading the word far and wide. Others may be more directed and specific in their praise, knowing just which products to recommend to whom (Adobe’s Loni Stark has identified three types of superfans: the Enthusiast, the Influencer, and the Lifer).