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The Subtle Challenges In Building An Engaged Audience

What business wouldn't want to have an audience that's cheering and screaming for them? For the most part, celebrities, performers, athletes, they all have these fully engaged audiences; people that are excited to go follow them and that will follow them all over the country. Neither rain, nor sleep, nor snow, nor the dark of night will keep them away. That is the credo of the postman, but let’s apply that to a fully engaged fan. They're so engaged that they're willing to overcome any obstacle to engage with the person or business that they're following. Pretty powerful, right?

The Circles of Engagement

Let’s start by looking at the context of engagement.

If you think of engagement as concentric circles, in the bullseye in the middle, you have the fully engaged fan. It’s very small compared to the large concentric circle that we will refer to as potential awareness. Clearly, we all want to have that fully engaged fan, but it takes a lot of time and effort to develop that.

What does it take to develop it? Let's jump from the bullseye to the outer most concentric circle and explore the flow. Metaphorically, if this were like our universe, it would be going from the Sun to Pluto.

On this outermost circle, we have basic awareness. Your audience may be aware of you but really have no relationship beyond that. Perhaps they've seen your website, browsed your store or read your blog but never took any action greater than that with you.

As we move closer to the center, we find those that have established some initial point of contact with you. This next concentic circle will be a connection, a follower or a lead. You have their information and they have "agreed" to accept your message.

Over time, you’d like to create a level of relationship and if you share items of value that your target audience is seeking, you'll be successful in creating that level of relationship. Over time, relationships create trust and that's hopefully where you're able to build that fully engaged fan.

To generate that fully engaged fan, you’ve got to work at building that personal connection. It is not easy, but the trick is, it is built around the concept of always adding value to your audience. If you add value, they'll connect. If you continue to add value, they'll listen and they'll interact. This leads to a relationship. If you continue to add value, trust is created, and that's where the fan comes from. 



The Most Common Mistake

Here's the problem. Here's why it takes so much time and so much effort, and why it's so challenging to create fully engaged fans. While you may understand the flow of engagement as defined above, many of us aren't necessarily thinking about it when we jump into the online world. We just "jump into tactics" without any specific direction. Unfortunately, that's not the right philosophy. If you start with the tactic, you're neglecting the goal. But what's even more important is that you've completely neglected the communication!

You’re not thinking about the person and where they are in terms of their funnel. Are they at the top where they're just learning about what it is their pain, need, or interest may be? Is it that they're in the middle, where they've already got some insight. In the middle of the funnel, they're in more of an educational mode. Or are they at the bottom where they're fully invested, and now they're ready to verify and make some sort of action? 



Personalizing the Interaction

Take the time to consider where your prospects are in the funnel and nurture them based on their specific location. If you do this effectively, you've gotten the person fairly committed. They're invested in your brand and now you have the opportunity to transition these folks to fully engaged fans. Some options to make this transition include connecting with them is some sort of personalized way. Here you might be getting on a phone and talking to them, walking through a demo, taking them through a consultation, or talking to them about the cost benefit relationship, the ROI, the return on investment, but however you're doing it, it's personalized to that audience. Customers notice this type of personalized attention, and ultimately people buy from people they trust!

Source:  
Taha Aziz, socialfusion.com

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