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There’s no arguing the power of social media. Large-scale communication, access to an enriched research database and the most exponential collection of time-wasting videos. Social media is a beautiful thing. Yet, followers and likes do not directly determine your customer’s loyalty to your brand. The real question is, how does a brand effectively build a community of advocates?
Provide motivation for customers to advocate for you
The first thing you need to do in order to build a social presence is to create a benefit program that will motivate your happy customers to promote your brand. Craft yourself a list of customers that have expressed positive feelings about your brand in the past. Approach them by emailing them and asking them to complete an act of advocacy, such as leaving a review. The most important thing is to recognize them for their efforts. Maybe even by giving them some really cool swag so that they can personally represent your brand moving forward. Be sure to not constantly hassle the same few people, as they will get tired of doing you favors.
Really get to know your customers
The most important factor to consider when you build a social presence is that customers appreciate when you take the time to get to know them. Learn as much as you can about their needs, goals and challenges. If you’re hoping they will advocate for you, then you need to know more about what makes them tick.
Involve your entire marketing team
When you build a social presence all your gears need to be turning in the right direction, and that includes all the members of your team. Think of all the people that represent your brand — sales team, customer marketing, product development etc. — and consider how these team members can also use positive brand advocation. For example, perhaps your advocates know new potential customers that they could refer to your sales team. It’s a win, win for everyone!
Treat your advocates well
Bottom line, if you treat your advocates really well they will feel emotionally connected to your brand and be more excited to share your products or services with the world…especially if you give them product samples. Just remember if you have happy people advocating your business, that positive energy could go a long way in terms of how you build a social presence and spread your brand awareness.
Are there any other tips you can offer to ensure success when you build an online advocate community? Tell us in the comments section below.