Before we dive into how to turn customers into brand advocates, let’s start with the basics. A brand advocate is a person or customer who talks favorably about a brand or product and then passes on positive word-of-mouth (WOM) messages about the brand to other people.
Word-of-mouth about your brand is one of the most powerful forms of advertising – it’s cheap, it’s effective and people trust it. Essentially, word-of-mouth is the holy grail of marketing.
In fact, a McKinsey study reported that marketing-induced word-of-mouth can generate more than double the sales of paid advertising.
The Value of Turning Customers into Brand Advocates
The power of word-of-mouth created by brand advocates is amplified through social media – making it even more valuable. One piece of user-generated content can reach thousands of people within hours.
Brand advocacy is also a great way to reach social media users who use ad-blockers. Did you know that 18% of mobile and desktop users in the United States use an ad-blocker? (December 2016, Page Fair/Business Insider)
An Example of Brand Advocacy on Social Media
Starbucks is one of the brands that inspired us to create our free ‘Guide to Turning Customers into Brand Advocates eBook‘. Rose (@rosieee93 featured above) is just one example of a Starbucks brand advocate on Instagram. Rose describes herself as a ‘Foodie 🥞 Medical Student 💉 Starbucks ❤️er,’ in her bio. Her frequent photos of Starbucks products prove that she is a true Starbucks fan and brand advocate.
Starbucks turn customers into brand advocates by actively engaging with them by commenting on or regramming their content to their 15.5 million followers. They also reward them for their advocacy. For example, Starbucks sent a personalized, reusable Starbucks cup to Rose to thank her for promoting Starbucks products in her Instagram posts.
At Popdeem, we’ve analyzed the strategies of leading companies that excel in creating brand advocates. We have identified 4 simple activities you can use to turn more of your customers into brand advocates, backed up with real-world examples.
Discover the 4 Key Activities to Turn Customers into Brand Advocates
#1. Social Listening
Listen to what your current customers and advocates are saying to identify engagement and market research opportunities.
#2. Identifying Influential Customers
It’s important to put a system in place to help you spot influential customers and target them with a CTA (call-to-action) to engage in brand advocacy on social media.
#3. Social Rewards
Reward your customers for connecting and interacting with your brand on social media to encourage brand advocacy. For example, with Popdeem, you can reward brand advocacy with coupons, loyalty points or run competitions when customers share photos on Instagram, check-in on Facebook or use a branded hashtag. Visit this story on QSR Magazine to see how Popdeem’s rewards work for a U.S. coffee chain.
#4. Integrating Social Engagement into the Customer Journey
Optimize the customer journey for maximum social engagement. The hospitality industry excels at this activity. For example, when guests check-out at a hotel, the staff often request guests to review their stay on networks like TripAdvisor.
Get your free copy of The Guide To Turning Customers Into Brand Advocates
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