When we’re talking about a business managing a social media presence – or several for that matter, we’re beginning to hear more about brand advocates. But who are they – and why are these people so important to your business?
Here, I will try to make some reflections on the subject. I will try to figure out the answers to these questions, and also make a small discussion about how brands should try to make use of these important advocates to create a positive impact on their businesses. Any given brand loves some good exposure, so why not start to consider how to obtain this by implementing brand advocates in your social media strategy?
Brand advocates = trusted people
First of all, brand advocates are people supporting and having favourable perceptions of your brand. They are people that help you and your brand generating awareness and influencing decisions to purchase exclusively based on their own interest. Naturally, this makes brand advocates very important to your business and especially in relation to your social media presence, where there’s great possibility of making an impact in various online communities.
As customers ourselves, we know that we put a greater trust in other customers of a brand rather than in the brand itself. If a person has had a great experience and shares it on a brand’s Facebook page, for instance, we listen to it and remember it as a trustworthy recommendation for choosing exactly this brand. The same goes for negative feedback, which makes us be a bit more reluctant. In these situations, we also get to see that brands are vulnerable in social media, but being in this online environment, a business can regain the good image by dealing with the situation.
Brand advocates = Facebook-ers, bloggers etc.
On Facebook, I think that many of us are fans of some great brand pages. And here, it’s especially obvious to see how popular it has become for fans to express their happiness about a given brand. They write comments, post pictures and they are active in the community. Social media has thereby brought with it a great opportunity for people to connect with their favourite brands and engage in dialogue with likeminded. And here, I would say that the same thing goes for blogging.
It has also become extremely popular to run a private blog. Whether we’re talking about social media and marketing blogs, fashion blogs or something third, we’re seeing an increase in the amount of people blogging. Here, it can be smart to be on the look out for the ones that include your brand. What are people saying about you, and is there some way that you can help and show them that you appreciate what they’re doing? The same goes back to the most active fans on your Facebook page. Notice who are the most active ones of the crowd and show that you know they’re there and making a priceless effort.
Brand loyalists vs brand advocates
However, when talking about the bloggers, the Facebook fans or who/where your fan tribe is, the most appropriate name for these might actually be brand loyalist. But then comes into the picture the chance of making them something more. An idea could be to give them exclusive access or special privileges or offers. Make them just a small part of your brand. This can turn them into an even more engaged crows and create even more awareness around you. Also, definitely keep an eye on the ones most engaged in your brand. Respond quickly to them and their feedback or leave a comment on their blog, so they know you are listening. This also creates a great image to other readers or fans as they can see you’re present.
To turn brand loyalists into advocates you might therefore consider the following:
- Identify and mobilize your advocates
- Find your brand loyalists
- Give exclusive access and special privileges
- Respond fast to comments and feedback
- Monitor and reach out proactively
- Give brand loyalists a voice
You can also read about the benefits of making your customers your brand ambassadors on our blog.
What do you think about this? Do you have something to add? Let me know 🙂