Aim for tribe members not followers

Brands are infatuated with ‘Fans’, ‘Followers’ and ‘Likes’ but is that what they should really be looking to get?

I was recently talking to the head of online for a multi national organisation and he was tasked with getting 50k followers.  He knew that having followers did not mean people having meaningful interactions yet that is what the powers that be wanted – so now he has to deliver.

But the question is, why are brand so infatuated with this? I think the reason is that his is an easy metric and because most companies are still unsure of the power or opportunities of social media they equate fans with people buying. Yet this is not the case.

Social brands need to turn people from followers into tribe members, as Bob Deutsch states in his article.

Brands will only become powerful socially when they reflect the values and beliefs of their customers (or vice versa).  By doing that then the propensity to buy increases significantly – think Apple’s establishment of the Mac Vs PC tribes. By promoting its vision of the Mac tribe, Apple was able to attract people whose values mirrored those being communicated and now there is a clear divide between the two and a passionate distaste between them.

Another person who regularly talks about tribes is Seth Godin and below he talks about tribes and their importance.


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