Who is a “Brand Advocate?”
The term “brand advocate” gets used a lot in marketing circles, but what does it truly mean? Simply put, a brand advocate is anyone who supports your company’s growth. In this article, we’ll focus solely on customers, but keep in mind an advocate could also be an employee.
They, in turn, provide third-party validation for your brand, a powerful sales tool for a business. For evidence of why you should be focusing some effort on cultivating brand advocates, particularly on social media, check out this 2016 report by Salesforce. The study found that “92% of consumers trust online content from friends and family above all other forms of brand messages.”
How Do You Identify Your Advocates?
Now that you understand the basics of brand advocacy and what you stand to gain from it, let’s find your advocates! A great place to begin is social media. Look for customer engagement in the following forms:
- Engagement with content you’ve shared
- Customer’s direct messages to your profile
- Customer reviews
- Customer-generated content displaying in brand-specific hashtag search results
- Customers’ posts tagging your profile
Ways to Drive Brand Advocacy on Social Media
Once you’ve identified your high-engagement customers you can put that energy to good use. Below are eight different ways that your business can drive brand advocacy leveraging social media.
Focus on the relationship with your brand
Think about what your customers love about your social media. Is it a product, customer care they’ve received, or stellar content you produce? Maybe a bit obvious, but start with remembering their name.
Deliver prompt customer care
It’s no surprise customers expect speedy service when they’re in need of help. Make sure to be responsive and work to resolve their issue promptly.
Share customers’ love
Incorporate positive feedback about your brand into social media advertising or profile posts. Just don’t forget to tag them!
Reward your best customers
Treat customers who engage often with your content or have given you a shoutout on their profile with exclusive experiences (invite-only events, early access to new product or service) and offers.
Surprise and delight
Who doesn’t enjoy a surprise? Send your top followers a little something, like a free coupon or thank you note. It’s likely they’ll post about it – woot woot!
Incentivize spreading the love
Reward your fans who direct new business your way with an incentive of your choice.
Remember their special occasions
Send a holiday or birthday greeting to your most engaged followers to help deepen the company-advocate relationship.
Proactively solicit feedback
Invite customers to share their perspectives, good and bad, on your content, and act on it. This will help you know what they like and don’t = better business outcomes.