The social media is in itself a universe for brands and businesses with the unrivaled opportunities that they have offered since their discovery.
Digital media has paved the way for business houses with top-notch resources and technology that connects them to relevant communities in real-time. Despite the sudden spike in an influx of influencers, marketers still rely upon brand advocates.
Brand advocacy on social media is a concept of an individual/group of people, particularly those happy customers of a brand’s product/service that promote them organically.
They are seen mentioning the brand’s name, website, links, content on social media channels as well as promote their products/services with genuine reviews, feedbacks, and ratings.
Basically they tend to bring publicity for brands by referring its business, actively involved in word of mouth, and putting the spotlight on the aura of brand.
They are the most loyal customers, employees, and long term partners who promote businesses in true sense.
Publicity is a larger portion of advertising.
Moreover, when brand advocacy on social media is done at almost no cost then why would brands prefer paying influencers? The same budget can be spent on building a strong brand advocacy army to do the needful.
Previously we discussed how to uplift employee advocacy on social media that is a part of this subject. This time we can expand our idea about the overshadowed concept of brand advocacy on social media.
Building brand advocacy on Social Media -Important notes
Spot the potential advocates
Your army is out there doing the regular social media sharing, posting, blogging, retweeting, and whatnot. All you got to do is find them and make a documentation of it.
They are mostly the existing customers, employees, and fans of your brand who engage with your social media platforms actively.
Marketers usually stay engaged in their social media notification area which helps them know who is interested in the brand. For any further assistance in recognizing brand advocates on social media one can use social media listening tools for better results. These will immediately scan through keywords, descriptions, phrases, and mentions among the audiences to pick the groups in favor.
Connect and encourage
Make the first move! It is your brand and you need to communicate with your employees/customers regarding their experiences. This helps build a stronger brand image that appears credible, trusted, and relevant to the rest of the potential customers.
It is wise to ask your brand advocates to share their experiences through videos, images, infographics, and other media. Giving those a public shout out on the brand’s social media channels will encourage others to do the same. Brand advocacy on social media helps maintain a healthy relationship with every stakeholder.
The encouraging part can also consist of social media giveaways and contests that would improve the brand’s visibility too.
Brand advocacy on social media must never be taken for granted as brand advocates are your admirers who might turn their back if not noticed at times. It is human nature and appreciation matters to everyone.
When a brand or business recognizes a particular brand advocate thereby honoring them with the deserved prize they tend to speak more actively on it. Thanking them on posts, direct messages, stories, and live cams makes it better and ensures a stronger bond.
Responding to customer concerns and feedbacks also comes into this category where the help from the brand should come in time. This will make them talk about the spontaneity shown by the brand on social media which again adds to the good publicity records.
There are a million ways to do this, we will mention a few here:
- Send them brand embossed gift hampers on special occasions
- Repost or retweet their posts/feed/stories on your official channels
- Involve them in your product launches for first reveal/look/review
- Obviously contests and giveaways!
Promote the content
Doing a bit of UGC marketing would only support your brand with almost no investment. User-generated content can be used on websites, social media channels and traditional advertising platforms. It makes the creator who is also a brand advocate feel valued and encouraged.
The brand will be generating a sense of belongingness to the customers/employees by sharing their posts, content, story, and tweets. It will give out the message that their opinions, feedback, ideas, and creativity are noticed and appreciated.
That makes a huge difference to the brand personality and identity. People would resonate with the brand thereby being more inclined towards it.
Networking and communicating
Marketers and brands understand the worth of expanding connections on social media platforms. Especially, when we are discussing brand advocacy on social media it is important to note the power of connecting with several people from different backgrounds. To build a pool of brand advocates on social media channels it is necessary to know what they are interested in and what excites the lot.
Once the key to their happiness or point of connection is known the process gets smoother for the brands. Networking is a two-way process hence, being a brand one must ensure the establishment of the relationship over the right social media platforms.
We can assume our brand advocates as nano influencers that have a real network which has real customers and potential buying audience.
Hence, stay in touch, invent new ways to connect with communities, organize events for brand advocates in particular, and host brand advocacy programs at different premises (offices, welfare societies, etc.) targeting your employees/customers.