What you read below is a piece written by my colleague Tiffani Allen on the 101s of brand advocacy. It was so good, I figured, why reinvent the wheel? Brand advocacy is a relatively new term or at least has been redefined in the digital age. The following piece should help you get your head around its benefits and power.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Everyone’s a critic,” right? As it turns out, this has more truth to it than we may care to believe. Anyone with Internet access can now be a food critic, movie critic, or any other kind of critic you can think of. The days of relying on expertise and reputation are fading fast and being replaced with customer reviews, recommendations from family, friends, strangers, and somewhat anonymous tips on social media sites.
If you don’t provide excellent service, engage with your customers online and in person, or otherwise build relationships with them, you are potentially losing business. Brands need to have a loyalty program in place to turn existing, happy customers into brand advocates. The following articles are the best I’ve found this week on the topic; whether you have an integrated digital marketing strategy or you’re still trying to figure out what #Hashtags are, this information pertains to you.
“Can You Buy Brand Advocacy With a Bag of Sweets?”
Andrew Moloney, @AJMoloney
While you read this article, think about what your bag of sweets is. Every brand experiences customer complaints, but it’s how you handle them that will set you apart from your competition. Rewarding your customers for their feedback, positive or negative, opens a line of communication that you may not otherwise have access to.
“How to Increase Relevancy of Your Brand Advocacy Program via Segmentation”
Sanjay Shetty, facebook.com/sanjayshetty
This article is from the end of December 2012, but it is one of the best explanations that I’ve found on the subject of brand advocacy. The author uses a metaphor about shoes to tie segmentation into brand advocacy, no pun intended, to detail how important customized messages are becoming in the marketing sphere.
“Advocacy: The New Currency of Marketing”
Dion Hinchcliffe, @dhinchcliffe
This article puts the importance of brand advocacy in the digital world into simple terms and has been retweeted quite a bit recently. It outlines different types of advocacy and how to implement strategies that are measurable and functional. There are some good infographics in the article that help to illustrate the point.
And in case you missed it . . .
“How to Turn Relationships into Brand Advocacy”
Ted Rubin, @TedRubin
Rubin emphasizes the importance of building a relationship with your social media followers, rather than just gathering “likes.” Doing so can lead to your customers advocating for your brand and thus increasing your “Return on Relationship.” Published back in July 2012, this article is still relevant to today’s brand advocacy conversation—and it’s also getting some retweet love this week, so it looks like it has been “rediscovered.”