It’s no secret: an economic recession is scary. How scary exactly? During the U.S. recession of 2007-2008, many businesses suffered significant financial losses.
Now, whether or not there’ll be another recession is still unclear, but as a company owner, you must take measures to recession-proof your business.
The simplest way to make your business recession-proof is through brand advocacy. In other words, you need to think about elevating your business using social media and word-of-mouth advertising. In doing so, you cut costs so that when (and if) the recession hits, you keep your company’s name at the forefront of customers’ minds.
So today, we’ll show you four ways brand advocacy can make your business recession-proof. We’ll also give you the tools you need to get started.
Having brand advocates spread their message about your brand on social media will raise brand awareness, opening yourself up to a larger pool of customers. This includes your advocate’s friends, family, acquaintances, and more.
Even better, because this traffic is from your brand advocate’s social circle, they’ll trust your brand more quickly.
Why’s this important?
According to Adobe Business: “7 in 10 customers will buy more from brands they trust.”
However, remember that the above finding came when there wasn’t an economic slowdown. During an economic slowdown, the number of customers buying only from brands they trust will be higher.
92% of customers say they trust word of mouth — which, as we said, is exactly what brand advocacy is.
In short: during an economic recession, brand advocacy is a must for recession-proofing since customers are more likely to buy from you.
Yet, for brand advocacy to work, you need a platform to help you integrate it into your daily routine.
GaggleAMP is one such tool, and this is what a customer said about it:
“It's driving more engagement and traffic to our career social pages in addition to helping users boost their networks with company content.” — Administrator in Facilities Services
During a recession, the number of unemployed people rises, and they can often stay unemployed for a long time.
Why? Because suffering businesses are cutting costs and therefore not taking on new staff. They’re also making older staff redundant.
According to Investopedia, only 30 to 40% of workers displaced by the great recession were reemployed full-time in January 2010.
It’s fair to say that during the aftermath of a recession your company will likely receive more job applications from unemployed people seeking work.
That may sound like a good thing, but a large majority of those job applications will not be relevant; many will be from people so desperate for a job that they’re applying to every open position.
Now, what happens if you hire the wrong candidate?
During a recession, these errors could ruin a business.
However, with a brand advocacy program, you’ll receive applications from candidates who know about your job because they’re connected to your brand ambassadors. You won’t just get candidates looking for any job, but instead, candidates looking for your job.
Even better, if the candidate is close to your brand ambassador, your ambassador can both vet them and prepare them for joining your company. You’ll even get the bonus of seeing your ambassador’s own morale boost, having successfully gotten someone in their social circle a start in a lucrative career.
Higher morale means:
This is essential during a recession, as your employees' morale is likely to be the first area affected if they’re living with poor financial health.
Here’s what another customer said about GaggleAMP—a platform that makes brand advocacy easy:
“It’s a convenient platform to spread your company’s message to its employees so they can share the messages they like most on their social platforms for friends and colleagues alike to see” — Erica M.
If you have a sales event planned, having a brand advocacy program in place is a key way to promote your event without spending on marketing.
This is important because during an economic downturn, with many businesses closing their doors and lowering discretionary spending, getting guests to attend your sales event through regular advertising will be challenging.
Again, this can be fatal for a business that isn’t recession-proof.
Yet sales events are important, and you should still host one, even during a recession. Especially if you have a team of brand ambassadors who can promote your sales event to their social circle instead.
According to ITA Group: “Nearly half of all brands realize an ROI of 300%–500% from their events and experiences.”
As a business owner, such an ROI can keep your business going—especially during a recession—and keep you from dipping into the emergency fund when you don’t need to.
Here are some extra benefits of hosting a sales event:
According to The Business Journals, the last recession claimed 170,000 small businesses.
This fact proves how important having brand awareness, loyalty, and the right connections is to creating recession-proof industries. That, in turn, shows you why you need an employee advocacy program.
To summarize, hosting a sales event advertised through your employee advocacy program doesn’t involve high marketing costs. Yet it comes with an increased number of benefits that can create real income and keep your doors open during an economic downturn.
Finally, brand advocacy creates thought leaders.
Think about it: if your brand ambassadors are constantly promoting your brand on their social media channels, then potential customers will start to associate your ambassadors with your brand.
This is important because it creates instant trust for your brand ambassadors.
For example, when you think of Gordon Ramsey, you think of food. Similarly, when you think of Elon Musk, you think of Tesla Motors. You automatically create that association, and you immediately trust that these icons are knowledgeable about what they do.
Imagine if you could do the same with your brand ambassadors. The more they post about your brand, the more authority they build and trust customers place in them.
“Thought leadership is when a leader's thoughts are being used by leaders to lead others.” — Onyi Anyado
When there’s a recession and customers only go to brands they trust, do you think they’ll go to the brand that paid for an advertising campaign or the one with active thought leaders on their social media channels?
So with that in mind, how do you make your employees brand ambassadors to create recession-proof businesses?
The first step is to have an effective solution in place, and that starts with GaggleAMP.
GaggleAMP is a tool that:
With all this in mind, does GaggleAMP sound like the right tool for you? Get in touch today to find out and get 14-days on us.
“Having implemented the tool a couple of weeks ago now, I am continually delighted by what this tool has to offer. It plugs all the gaps for getting your employees engaged on social media” — Kassia C, Social Media Manager.
Michelle Brammer is the Director of Marketing at GaggleAMP. Her background includes over 17 years of brand marketing, strategy, analytics, operations, and multi-channel experience, and she’s firmly rooted in client success and engagement. She is passionate about teaching youth about the digital advertising space and perfecting inbound marketing and social media efforts. Michelle’s thoughts on marketing, advertising, and social media have been published on Forbes, Convince & Convert, iMedia Connection, Bulldog Reporter, MediaPost, PRNewswire, and more.
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