ADOTAS – Brand advocates in the social and mobile age hold an even greater ability to spread the word about a brand — both positive and negative — than ever before. And these brand advocates have the power, if activated and solicited to perform social actions on a brand’s behalf, to create an alternate sales and marketing channel that generates high quality leads and new customer acquisition.
Every company has a set of these social relationships composed of different groups, from employees, 3rd party influencers and customers to prospects and other audience subsets. And each of these alliances has some type of affiliation with that company’s brand. For example, industry giants, such as Costco or Walmart, might have millions of these relationships, while a local nail salon might only have a few hundred.
Regardless of the quantity, these relationships are incredibly valuable and marketers must always treat them with the utmost care.
Recognizing the sheer power of brand advocacy marketing, companies today are continually looking for ways to produce better results and to analyze their efforts effectively. Forward-thinking brands employ technological tools and platforms that will promote social brand conversations and steadily increase the number of legitimate relationships to drive corresponding revenue.
In addition, brands also must possess accurate data on the types of people who are actively recommending them to other consumers. These metrics allow the brand to devise strategies to encourage active referrals through persuasive recommendations. Armed with quality data, marketers can tailor promotions and content to deliver targeted referrals to the prospects who are most likely to eventually become paying customers.
In today’s market, brands must engage with consumers in the social sphere in order to gain maximum value from these venues. They simply cannot sit on the sidelines counting “likes,” nor can they merely listen to brand conversations—they must initiate and direct discussions. They need to present themselves as experts in their field so conversations appear natural and they can interact with the individuals who are most likely to make purchases.
The systematic, automated process of soliciting advocacy from a brand’s advocates can result in the creation of a hugely impactful sales and marketing channel. And those companies that are best able to leverage advocacy through smart tactics will have a clear advantage, generating both revenue and new customers at a faster rate than their competitors.