Everyone has an opinion on brand advocates, how to get them, how to activate them, etc (all good stuff by the way). Most of the discussion is about getting advocates to do things though. Get them to write another product review, blog about us and retweet our promo. If I was your brand advocate, I would need a vacation for sure.
So give them one. I don’t mean airplane tickets, hotels and coconut drinks on the beach. Just a simple vacation from doing all your work for you. Figure out what to do for them. What could you do for a “friend” of the company that you just do because you like them, not because you expect anything from them?
Most companies build extensive sytems to manage brand messaging, create brand loyalty through rewards and messaging but you have to do something before you get the benefit. What if I just got a promotion and started traveling. I take four trips in four weeks and my typical pattern is four trips over the course of a year. There should be triggers going off everywhere that are simply meant to create a great experience from my brand. I may not be at the “Gold” level but if there is a suite that’s available for my stay, give it to me. The good will business that comes from it is unmatched. Advocates are created over time with brands that have a strong reputation with me.
A Brand’s reputation is shaped as a cumulative feeling across EVERY personal experience I have with that Brand whether receiving my bill, using the product, calling customer service or seeing an advertisement on TV.
If that’s true, a Brand manager simply needs to create more experiences faster than the customer will create for themselves on their own time. Instead of sending over a coupon, send a box of your new product to their door to try out. Leave a bottle of wine on their pillow when they were expecting the bottle of water that everyone else gets. Instead of focusing on what you can get your advocates to do for you, try spending some time coming up with ideas of things you can do for your advocates…just because.
Brands spend a lot of creative talent on getting consumers to “Like” them yet once they do, companies are not set up to continue to manage the relationship. With that, our event for this week being moderated for the first time by, what I would consider, an advocate of #socialmedia. We met Chris Kieff as a regular contributor on our events and now he is moderating his own. With a great perspective and tons of experience, we are excited to have Chris lead this next event. The topic and questions will be:
Topic: Enterprise Social Media: Working For Your Online Advocates
Q1: What is the best way to find advocates in social media?
Q2: Now that we’ve identified advocates, how do you build relationships with them?
Q3: How do you enable them to carry your message virally?
Please join us in this online chat on Tuesday, November 16 at noon ET. Follow #sm86 from your favorite Twitter client or simply go to our LIVE page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live.