The insight that should hit some community managers like a ton of bricks is that many brands have ZERO true fans.
When exceeding expectations isn’t always possible
Game developers typically struggle for years on end to create a great game and Doom Eternal is no exception. For various reasons, the day came when the Doom developers realised they had to push their launch date. Thousands and thousands of hours worth of development suddenly hangs in the balance. Here’s how the brand communicated the delay on their Facebook page to a base of 760,000+ fans:
The civility and eloquence of Doom’s true fans
For the developers at Id Software, this turned out to be quite the breeze since their customer base had nothing but respect and support for the decision. Here are a few typical reactions from the comment section:
Even though the Doom fanbase on Facebook predominantly consist of a demographic (young to middle-aged white males who enjoys violent video games) regularly described and portrayed as a menace to society, the Doom fans are nothing but respectful, forgiving, and supportive.
And quite eloquent, at that!
Having true fans is great public relations
Personally, I’ve helped many brands to deal with messy comment sections filled to the brim with trolls, slander, and hate. Beforehand, most brands like to think that this is a quick fix for any social media natural; that I can somehow help them craft a clever post that will make the haters disappear. Obviously, that strategy is BS.
“A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce. These diehard fans will drive 200 miles to see you sing; they will buy the hardback and paperback and audible versions of your book; they will purchase your next figurine sight unseen; they will pay for the “best-of” DVD version of your free Youtube channel; they will come to your chef’s table once a month.”
Why every brand must earn supportive customers
The question isn’t, “Why are there rude people in your comment section?” The real question is, “Why aren’t there anyone defending your brand?” That insight that should hit some community managers like a ton of bricks is that many brands have ZERO true fans. It’s therefore never the question of how to make bad people disappear; it’s about how to attract, reward, and empower your true fans. THAT’S how you earn a strong brand audience.
In short: You get the type of brand audience you build.