Brand advocacy. What is it? How do you get it? Do you need it? To answer that last question, you betcha! Brands with high advocate populations earn exponentially more social media impressions than brands that don’t. Building advocates can have a huge impact on the success of your brand, basically for free!
Before we get too far into it, if you have any confusion on what a brand advocate is or what the difference is between an influencer and an advocate, head over to this blog post. We’ve created a handy infographic which breaks it down seamlessly for you.
Ok, welcome back! Now that you’re more familiar with the proper terms, let’s tackle that second question - how do you get brand advocates? It’s going to take some work. You can’t expect to have advocates just pop up overnight, no matter how wonderful your brand is. Here are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of finding advocates for your blog or business.
Post Engaging Content
Whether you offer a service, a product or have a blog, you’ll need to engage your audience with the content you post. You may have a large social following, but if they are passive followers, they aren’t doing your brand much good.
No matter which platform you’re posting on, reach out to your audience and engage. Not only does it humanize your brand, but it encourages conversation on your content. You’ll quickly learn what’s working and what’s not with the content you’re creating. Here are a few ideas of how you can engage your audience with your content:
- Ask questions or take a poll
- Host a giveaway
- Hold a “Challenge” like A Color Story did in the image below
Partake in Social Listening
Social Listening, if you’re not familiar, is the process of monitoring digital conversations to see what customers are saying about a brand online. You can use this tool to source out existing customers or fans and start a dialogue with them.
One piece of advice, try to identify advocates that already have a high social media activity and a decent size following. The best way to build your brand advocate community is through strategy and really doing your research on who is going to be the best fit for your brand.
Give Them the Good Stuff
Ok, so there is a fine line here. Many brands offer rewards to “inspire” people to advocate, but that may make you question the sincerity of the endorsement. Instead, try offering exclusive content or services that allows potential brand advocates to receive access to inside knowledge that could help them advocate for your brand. Let’s be honest, everyone loves a “VIP” status, so if you’re reaching out to people and offering them exclusivity, they’ll be more likely to support your brand.
This is the most important thing you can do to create advocates for your brand. Especially if you’re a small business or you’re just starting out, you never want to appear stand-offish. I can’t tell you how many brands I’ve grown to love and advocate for because they made it a point to engage with me online. It establishes a real connection with your audience and humanizes your brand immensely. A great example of this is Tubby Todd, a bath product company for baby + mama. I initially found them on Instagram, but after some interaction on their posts, I was sold. The owner of the company is so friendly and engaging it encouraged me to buy more products to support her.
As a mom of three little ones I'm constantly wondering what is best for them, and for me- and I love connecting with other women to hear what solutions they've found for their family. The connection I have found with so many amazing women has been the greatest joy of the last two years of running Tubby Todd. This week I started a Facebook group called "Tubby Todd Mamas" to keep in touch with the people who are using and loving our products. I want to invite you to come and talk all things tubby and mama with me there! You know, the important stuff like: babies, books, clothes, being a working mom, being a stay at home mom, postpartum health, Netflix, etc. I have put the link to the group in our profile just for tonight! Please invite any mamas you feel would be interested, or who would sincerely benefit from the support of a group of women who are ready to love and accept and not judge or criticize. 💁🏼💁🏻💁🏽💁🏾💁🏿#tubbytoddMAMA
Build in time each day to interact with your audience and you’ll surely see results!
Whether you’re looking to boost your brand or increase your sales, building brand advocates is incredibly important. The great thing about these advocates is that they are already out there and ready to promote brands they love. All you need to do is give them what they need to become your biggest advocate!