Super­fans deliver value in mul­ti­ple forms: from engage­ment and loy­alty, to active con­tent gen­er­a­tion and social influ­ence, and of course pur­chase and repeat purchases.

I’ve been developing on several new ideas about the new age of digital marketing. You can follow along with some of my posts, panel appearances and presentations over here, as well as continue to stay tuned to our new media adventures here on Stark Insider. I want to whet your appetite, and then ask that you head over to my SXSW PanelPicker to give me a vote if you’re the tad bit interested in hearing the whole story. Yes, you might be surprised to learn that I don’t actually spend every waking moment in wine country!

Given the amount of noise across the internet–some of it very helpful, some of it not so much–messaging continues to be important as ever. Differentiate or Die! as they say.

And we know social media is an essential component in any progressive company’s marketing mix. Ignore it at your own peril.

Building a fan base that is loyal to your company, and congruent with your brand is no easy task. Speaking with companies across North America and in Mexico recently where I spoke about the battle for attention in my keynote at Mexico IAB Conecta, I’ve learned that there’s a common pain point: how much and where to invest when it comes to social media and the marketing mix.

But there’s a secret weapon.

Meet your new BFF: the “Superfan.”

As I wrote for the SXSW pitch:

“Superfans are just what they sound like: the most loyal customers who are open to repeat purchases. They love your product or service and recommend it to others. They’re actively engaged in communities, discussing and commenting on their favorite brands. They even contribute user-generated content.”

In other words, they’re your secret, untapped allies. Gain their trust, their emotional commitment, and you can potentially gain sustainable competitive advantage–at least when it comes to the social media channel.

There’s a lot of takeaways I’ve gleaned, not only as a co-founder of Stark Insider, and as a marketer at Adobe (here’s my latest blog post which expands further on the idea of the Superfan), but also as the founder of the largest, private social network for home owners in the Baja (“Club Loreto Bay”). I’d like to share what I’ve learned talking to people over the past few months about this very topic. Better still, I’ve assembled these findings into a framework that you can use to help grow your business, non-profit or community-driven initiative.

Silicon Valley news, tech, reviewsSome of the Questions I’ll address at SXSW:

How do I develop a community of Superfans?
How do I build a business case around social?
What do Superfans expect from a brand?
What’s the role of personalization in fostering Superfans?
How can I reach these fans across multiple channels?

This is where I begin to sound like Will Ferrell when I ask that you head on over to SXSW to Vote For Me. Did I mention how good you’re looking these days? And your charming personality… well don’t get me started darling! If I get enough votes I’ll get to present at SXSW 2014 where I hope to engage in a fun, useful conversation with you. Thanks – and let’s connect on Twitter, let me know what you think.

Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.