Brand advocate seems to be a bit of a trendy term lately. What does this really mean to your company and how do you take advantage of this?
Companies are clamoring to identify their advocates on Twitter and trying to figure out how to engage them. Keep in mind that brand advocates exist everywhere. Brand advocates are people that have an affinity for your company, products or brand and let others know it! Companies have a potential army of brand advocates ready to to support your efforts. If they are silent, you have not engaged them or made it easy for them to be an advocate.
The first step in creating brand advocates is to identify your brand stakeholders. Stakeholders are people that have a natural affinity and have a stake in the success of your company or brand. To turn them into advocates, they need to take the next step and help spread the word. Before we get to the advocate role, do an audit of who your stakeholders are:
- Employees – This group of people collect paychecks and benefits from your company. It is in their best interest to see that the company is successful.
- Partners – Most companies have a large amount of vendors, resellers and even contractors that also share a strong desire to see their business partner be successful.
- Customers – Products and services can drive powerful brand affinity. Many of these people would gladly share your brand messaging out of pride for the benefits associated with use.
- Others – Add your own list of people that have affinity for your organization. Think about past employees, alumni, students, donors etc. These are all groups that have high affinity for their past or present relationship with your organization.
Once you have identified these stakeholders, you can put together a plan to reach out to them and engage them as brand advocates. Remember, an advocate is just a stakeholder that is vocal about it! Engage your stakeholders to create your army of advocates. It can be a daunting task unless you use a solution such as GaggleAMP. With this in mind, here are the next steps to take:
- Do a content audit
- Develop a content strategy
- Put together a message plan and schedule based on stakeholder groups
- Create a Gaggle for each stakeholder group
- Add rewards to the Gaggles as additional incentive
- Invite stakeholders to join the appropriate Gaggles
- Continue to add messages
- Track effectiveness and ROI
By leveraging a solution such as GaggleAMP, you can turn your potential army into an active army of social media brand advocates. The results and ROI will speak for itself.