Garnering brand advocates is one of the best ways to use your social media platforms. You already know the value of being present on social media, and know it's important to leverage its advertising capabilities.
But is that the best way to use social media? Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert said, “Everybody knows that advertising is created to incentivize an outcome, so consequently, it makes it inherently less effective.”
Instead of advertising or just posting content, why not amplify your social media efforts by harnessing its often-forgotten power?
Imagine you have a team of volunteers who want to work with you to help grow your company, because they love your brand. They each bring their megaphones. And they all have amazing things to say about your company, to anyone who comes within earshot. Wouldn’t that be great?
These are brand advocates.
You likely already have some, to some degree. The most obvious people who are already your brand advocates are your customers. But they can also be people like your employees, influencers, or business partners.
Brand advocates are the ones who will promote your business, write about your products, and share their experience of you with their social media following.
It’s like having your own army of public relations people who are willing to work without compensation.
As a result, your business can enjoy an increase in brand awareness, more reach and exposure, media attention, and even more revenue. Hubspot showed that 71% of people are more likely to purchase if they were referred by social media.
Cultivating brand advocates can make the shift from social media presence to social media profits. Today I’ll discuss three steps on how you can start to build and nurture your brand advocates.
The first step in creating your brand advocates is to look for people that are already in the role. Your customer service team is likely to know which names keep popping up when they post content, manage comments, and answer requests.
You want to find people who are excited to share their experience with your products or services. They are the ones who are eager to tell others about how they enjoy your company. Usually, they do this via social media, media publications, on (https://copywriters.com/blog/post/why-copywriters-write-the-best blog-posts), or in real life.
This will involve some sleuthing work on your part. You could use specialize social media analysis tools to find out who is sharing your content and which type is most popular. You could also use Google Alerts to find out who is posting content and mentioning your brand online.
Once you find these people, you can start to analyze what type of content they’re sharing.
Do they have anything in common?
Do they prefer to hang out on certain corners of the internet?
What are their demographics?
Remember, your brand advocates aren’t just your customers. They can be employees, past or present. They can be influencers who have a following. They can be a business partner or even another company with a similar but non-competing product or service.
Once you analyze this information, you will be able to identify:
What types of content are most likely to be shared by brand advocates
Which platforms they are on and likely to share with their following
What kind of incentives may attract them, such as discounts, freebies or features
Now that you know more details about your brand advocates, the next step is to use that information to create more of them. Set some goals; what kind of look and feel do you want your online community to have? What kind of metrics are you going to use to evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts? Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals will keep you on track.
Your initial sleuthing work will give you a picture of who to look for as your ideal brand advocates:
Look for repeat buyers in a customer database.
Search through your social media profiles to identify fans who are outspoken and have a following.
Find out which employee is the most excited about their work, in and out of the office.
Don’t forget to look outside your current ecosystem. Think about influencers who have a large following. Or companies who haven’t had the pleasure of doing business with you yet.
The next step is to start an outreach campaign to recruit them into your world. The purpose here is to build interest in your company, products, and services. And once they’ve experienced your company, encourage them to leave comments, share with their followers, and create testimonials and reviews.
After all, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends’ recommendations. That is a major deciding factor in whether to do business with your company or not.
At this point, it may be beneficial to set aside a budget to offer incentives, discounts, or freebies on the initial outreach. These items could be a faster way to get your products and services into the hands of potential brand advocates and get them on board.
Now that you’ve identified and engaged your existing and potential brand advocates, it’s time to sow the seeds and water the soil for future growth.
There was a study completed by Bhati Ragini and Verma Harsh V. entitled “Advocacy, Customer Advocacy and Marketing Implications.” They show that advocacy can be more effective than traditional methods of advertising.
People will go out of their way to advocate for brands they love.
It’s your job as a company to continue to engage them and grow that relationship.
To do that, you want to keep advocates regularly engaged with your brand. The best way to accomplish that is to create shareable content that relates to them. This content includes solutions to their pain points and information that they find interesting and helpful.
Are you wondering how to create this type of content?
One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to hire a good content copywriter. They can help you research and implement an effective content marketing strategy. By creating shareable content specifically tailored to your brand advocates, you make it easy for them to share it online with others.
The second way to keep brand advocates engaged with your company is to develop campaigns or programs to uphold their dedication to your brand. In addition to incentives, this could include running contests or challenges that are specific for your brand advocates.
For example, it could be a contest on who can get the most shares and likes on a post. Or perhaps a contest on who can generate the most referrals. In the end, make sure to award the winners and congratulate them publicly as they value this type of recognition.
Building an army of brand advocates is highly beneficial for your company. It’s like having a team of highly effective public relations people who will champion your brand willingly without compensation. Here are three steps to get you started today:
Identify existing and potential brand advocates. Find out what motivates them.
Engage with brand advocates consistently to foster desire and enthusiasm.
Create shareable content and introduce incentives, promotions, and contests to upkeep engagement
Do you need help implementing a brand advocacy strategy or creating shareable content? Contact us today to see how we can help!
Arthur Kam is a revenue-generating marketer and direct-response copywriter. He's a former engineer, who bootstrapped and exited two eCommerce brands that each made multiple 7-figures in sales. Nowadays, when he's not focused on helping clients scale their companies through copy, marketing, and funnels, he loves to travel and experience the world with his wife and business partner, Dr. Grace Lee.Hire Arthur