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A few things happened over the past couple of days that has gotten the chatty part of me thinking.

A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is it is what consumers tell each other it is. - Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit

March 1… a new agency took over the social media reigns for @Audi of America. A change a few of us weren’t so happy about. Some Audi fans noted on Twitter that the new agency hadn’t taken the opportunity to bridge the gap and come in on their first day swinging. We waited. Nothing.

Today, I visited @Rockville_Audi to catch up on a few details for Cars, Cars & Cars and sort out paperwork for my A4. We talked about Kundenbegeisterung and how current and longtime Audi fans are creating new Audi fans. The discussion turned to why the new social media agency needed to make sure they connected with existing fans.

Recently, Kevin Shively wrote What Can Audi Teach You About Your Twitter Metrics. I’ve shared it a few times, but there’s a key point regarding a brand’s most engaged followers:

These people are brand ambassadors. Keep them engaged, happy and feeling included. This will help them promote your content in a way you couldn’t do on your own. - Kevin Shively

Well, they haven’t connected leaving a few of us wondering if they will and do we have to start all over with getting them to listen. Isn’t relationship building through social media about engagement: listening to your fans and making them part of the story?

About two years ago, I tweeted Audi about #WantAnR8 almost daily. The previous social media team would reply with a few zingers that encouraged me to keep tweeting and friends began tweeting to Audi for me. What happened after that became the most successful Twitter campaign – ever. Why? Because Audi made me part of their story.

It would be disappointing to see all the hard work Andrew White and Paul Meyers put into building Audi’s successful presence online go to waste. With the Kundenbegeisterung mission, I have faith that Audi believes that doing business is based on relationships. Yet, I feel the new social media team missed out on a huge opportunity this weekend. Failing to address brand ambassadors and completely missing the first day on the job makes me wonder what lies ahead.

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