During the recent war between Israel and the Hamas terrorists in Gaza, the IDF introduced a new weapon to their arsenal that was so powerful that no other army in the world has ever dared unleash it on their enemies.
In fact, there are probably many people around the world who want to charge Israel with disproportionate use of force for engaging this new weapon.
What is this all powerful weapon?
Of course I’m talking about the Israel Defense Force’s use of social media to help sway public opinion in favor of the defensive measures they were taking against Hamas.
In fact, even CNN predicted that the IDF’s powerful and effective use of social media would become the new norm during future military conflicts.
A rocket fired from #Gaza fell near a kindergarten in Ashkelon a few minutes ago. It’s a good thing that school was canceled for the day.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) November 18, 2012
The reason that the IDF was so successful in swaying public opinion is that they enlisted thousands of pro-Israel supports to help spread their message across the web.
In order to make sure that their message was more easily shared and traveled further, the IDF Spokesperson’s Desk prepared useful, easy-to-share image and videos. They also released short sound bites that were easily shared and retweeted thousands of times.
But how can the IDF’s campaign teach you to be more successful in you business?
Here’s the #1 lesson that you should learn from the IDF…
Create Your Own Online Ambassadors
So how can your company or organization create your own army of online brand ambassadors just like the IDF did?
The first step is to simply Be Awesome.
Make sure that your company’s products and service are top notch. If your products stink, then nobody is going to talk about you online (at least not in a positive way).
Now, assuming that you already have happy customers, the question remains… How to make your customers fall in love with you brand so that they will want to talk about you all the time?
Here are a few simple ways to make your customers love you and spread your message:
1) Reward your top customers
People like to feel appreciated. And they like getting free stuff.
Search your customer database and identify your best customers and send them a special letter in the mail with a free gift.
The gift could be a coffee mug or a t-shirt with your logo on it. It can even be some free samples of your products or even a fruit basket. And it doesn’t need to cost very much money.
Remember, it’s the thought that counts. The most important thing is that you make them feel appreciated.
I can assure you that most of the customers you send the gift to will tell all their friends how cool your company is.
Do this once and you will most like acquire a brand ambassador for life.
2) Respond quickly to messages on social media
There’s no better way to make you customer feel like your care about them than to respond to their messages quickly and helpfully.
It’s also important that you are participating in the conversation in the places that they are hanging out. For most people, that will mean Facebook and Twitter. But it includes email as well.
It’s crucial that you are monitoring these platforms in real-time to see what people are saying about you and that you respond fast.
The benefits of this are twofold.
First, if people start to complain about your company or product, you can do whatever it takes to fix the problem before it gets out of hand. This often can have the effect of winning the person over to appreciate your helpfulness.
Second, when people see you respond quickly to their questions, they get a sense that you care about them. And that makes them start to care about you too.
So take the time to set up a system for monitoring the web for mentions of your brand. You can do this with tools such as Google Alerts, Facebook Notifications or Social Sprout.
3) Make Sharing Easy
Just like we learned from the IDF, it’s important that you make it easy for your customers and fans to share your message.
Create shareable content such as images, videos and sounds bites that are easy to share.
You can use Click To Tweet to craft a specific message that you want your fans/customers to share.
This is one of the reasons that Infographics have been so popular lately. They just beg to be shared
Start building you army of brand ambassadors
What tactics are you using to build brand loyalty among your customers?
Leave a comment below and tell me how you’ve succeeded in getting just one of your customers to tell their friends about your product or service.
And if you have a friend that might benefit from this article, please share the link with them 😉