How do you get noticed? How do you get your voice to be heard? Most of us are too busy sharing and pushing out cool content on social media to even think about the folks that produced this cool content that we are sharing in the first place. The origins of these items do matter!
It’s often second nature to each and every one of us: we find something cool online and instinctively share it. Whether you know it or not, by doing this you are a brand advocate. Whether you share a blog, brand promotion, or just a cool item, you are acting as a brand advocate for the company or individual that produced it. For those of you who produce original content or a positive review of a product or brand – you are endorsing it on the web and have thus evolved into a brand advocate.
You may not think about this or even realize it, but all the big brands out there are now “socially listening” to everything that is said in the social sphere. Whether you tag the source of your content or not, most big brands will still see your activity through aggregated search. Advanced social media tools allow them to analyze how their brand is being talked about through plugged search variables.
What happens when you credit your source? If you take the extra 30 to 60 seconds to include the author’s handle or Facebook page, that brand will be immediately be altered and see what you're talking about.
"So, how is this powerful?
Brands have a direct connection to you now."
Brand advocacy happens both on a large-scale and small-scale, helping to drive successful results in both sales and marketing.
On a large-scale, brands are now rewarding their raving customers and fans with prizes and incentives. Their customers’ positive experiences are invaluable and often make for the best marketing content. Brands are now able to activate incentives through social media by implementing a contest in-house or via new technology, like the free mobile app, SnapMyAd.
SnapMyAd in particular, “creates a safe place for consumers and brands to engage.” Consumers take pictures of their real brand experiences and exchange them for real brand perks. SnapMyAd rewards raving customers with special contests hosted by the brand.
Smaller businesses that don't necessarily have the budget to invest in large social listening tools to gain insights can still benefit from brand advocates. Consumers who are mentioning their favorite smaller brands on social media are doing a great service to these companies. Through the basic native Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest dashboards, businesses can access these interactions. For those small business owners reading this: engaging customer feedback is a crucial tactic to employ. Embrace your social chatter by responding and retweeting to all positive and negative feedback.
Social space interaction is vital for 2014 and beyond
Brand advocacy is so powerful in social media that you can use it for your business’s sales growth and development.
How do you empower your brand advocates? How do you reward raving fans?
I challenge you to a duel… I mean, I challenge you to apply best engagement practices to activate your brand advocates.
Implement any of the following once a day, twice a week or four times a week if you can.
- Contact individuals or prospective clients by retweet via their Twitter or post on their Facebook with a comment.
- Reply and respond to comments or retweets alerted via your social networks.
- Follow/friend those who like or retweet your social media properties.
- Send direct messages to customers or prospects and share content or articles you think they might find helpful.
- Reward your raving fans with special incentives.
- Comment on brand blogs or prospects’ blogs and share your positive insight.
By implementing some of the points listed above, your engagement and activity with most likely flourish.
You’ve heard that word-of-mouth is the best advertisement, right? Welcome to this century’s word-of-mouth. Testimonials on social media have become the most powerful form of marketing to brands both small and large.
Have you activated a brand advocate program? How do you engage with your fans?
Michelle Bergstein-Fontanez - Marketing Maven and Social Media Specialist at Event Industry Marketing by BeatCreative
Michelle lives, eats and breathes marketing for the event and meeting industries. Known as the "Event Marketing Maven" and a consummate social media/ online marketing enthusiast. Her innate ability lies in helping companies create an online presence through smart and engaging marketing strategy. Her company's client portfolio includes many influential event planners, suppliers, and small businesses in Central Florida and beyond. With an intensive 10 + year background in advertising, marketing and communications, she brings innovative design and savvy marketing approach to all her client projects. As a national speaker and educator on social media for event businesses and at events, Michelle is passionate about lending her expertise in contributing to international blogs, renown local and national publications. She has been featured in Fast Company, Crains New York Business, Special Event Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Weekly, and BizBash.