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Social media masterclass: Turning fans into superfans

It’s hard to know how many times we’ve tried to make the point; social followers and fans mean nothing without engagement. Yet still brands obsess over so-called vanity metrics.

Focussing on the size of the dog in the fight, as Mark Twain said, is useless. You need to gauge the size of the fight in the dog, and the same is true of social media presence. Even if millions sign up to follow you, if only a handful are actually participating in the conversation it’s all for nought.

But how do you turn average fans into committed, engaged superfans? Thankfully, Smoking Gun’s team have been practicing what our blog preaches since the agency was established. As such are well-placed to offer this social media masterclass, so read on and get ready to see some real change in the numbers that count…


Create quality content

This sounds painfully obvious, but you need to be continuously creating items to share with the world, and those items need to be good quality— increasingly so as competition for attention grows fiercer. Look at rival firms and see what works for them, and what falls on deaf ears. Don’t simply copy and paste, though; think outside the box and always remember brand personality is the real differentiator.

Here’s something we made earlier for one of our beloved clients…

Show gratitude

Whenever someone interacts with brand content, no matter how small that may be, it warrants some kind of response. That could be as simple as liking a re-tweet to let them know you’re listening, or a full-blown comment directly referencing their input.


Become their superfan— participate, engage, discuss

Social media engagement is all dialogue. Just as a journalist fails at interviewing when asking closed questions, brands fall down by not understanding that their input in a conversation should encourage more conversations. Ad infinitum.

Identify brand champions

There are superfans and then there are superfans— the latter are those who use their own creativity to champion brands. These need to be encouraged as much as possible, so consider the kind of campaigns that will have them chomping at the bit to get involved. That means looking at who they are, who you are, and which values and tastes you share.


Facilitate their passion

There’s no company in the world that wouldn’t consider fan-produced branded content to be a holy grail of engagement, because more often than not the people willing to go to such great lengths to display loyalty are going to lead to the overall goal— influencing others to buy. Old Spice— a firm that has mastered the art of facilitating follower passions— sent out a prop tiger used in advertising to one fan, who posted an image of himself posing with the model. The result was 440,000 views on Imgur. That’s just one example, now go make yours.


Want more social media masterclasses? All you have to do is call


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