Mack Collier is a well-known social media strategist, trainer, and speaker. Mack also hosts the Web's largest Twitter chat, #Blogchat, a weekly conversation about blogging that takes place every Sunday night at 8:00 PM (Central).

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I invited Mack to Marketing Smarts to discuss his recent book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers Into Fans.

Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

Your company can be among the first to create a formal brand ambassador program (7:11): "I started talking to some really big companies, and what I was asking them is 'what programs do you have in place to directly connect with your fans?' We're talking brand ambassador programs, something smaller, whatever. I wanted to...use them as potential case studies in the book, but I talked to maybe a dozen big companies and they all told me the same thing: 'We have no formal program in place.'"

Your most passionate fans can bring you tremendous value, so don't neglect them to focus exclusively on acquiring new customers (10:30): "A true fan wants to help grow the brand, because they really do see themselves as part owners of the brand, and they're...proactively telling other people. One of the things that you can do if you're trying to launch any type of formal program to connect with your biggest some type of referral mechanism. When they connect with other customers, you need to have something in place that helps them move that customer closer to the sale.... Your brand ambassadors want to connect with other customers, and they're already telling them about you."

Not every negative comment is a "complaint" (10:26): "The great thing about a fan is that if a fan sees something that they perceive as being 'wrong' with your brand—you're doing something wrong, you should be improving this—they will bring it to your attention, and then they'll want to work with you to try to fix it. A lot of times when you see  a customer [has said] something...and, at first glance, it'll look like it's a complaint, it could actually be something from a fan where they've identified a potential problem with your brand and they're bringing it to your attention because they want you to know about it so you can correct it.... It could be a very happy customer that's been dealing with your brand for 10 years, and today they had an experience with your brand that was completely inconsistent with the high level they're accustomed to, and they wanted to bring it to your attention because they want you to correct it."

For more information, or to get your copy of Think LIke a Rock Star, visit Follow Mack Collier on Twitter: @MackCollier.

Mack and I covered a lot more ground, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

For key takeaways, check out our own Veronica Jarski's visual sketch notes of this episode! 

Marketing Smarts is brought to you by the MarketingProfs B2B Forum, taking place October 9-11 in Boston, Massachusetts. The 7th Annual B2B Marketing Forum is the premier event for B2B marketers worldwide. This two-day event is packed with 42 sessions, 4 keynotes, tons of networking opportunities, a lot of fun, and more B2B business smarts than you'll find anywhere else this year. Marketing's full of choices. Choose B2B.

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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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