Maximizing Sales and Marketing Opportunities through Social Channels
Now, the ability to connect with one another in an instant as part of a massive global community supersedes geographic boundaries. However, in order to thrive in this new environment, companies must harness the inherent power of social connections to drive sales.
Businesses of every size have always had some sort of “brand advocates,” a collection of customers, employees, partners and others that know about or are interested in the brand. Within any such group, there are multiple levels of brand knowledge or engagement, from repeat buyers and brand advocates to prospects who have just discovered the brand. The key for any company is to find ways to encourage everyone in this group — regardless of their level of intimacy with the brand — to tell others about the brand, thereby building a rich marketing channel.
With the advent of social sharing, there has been a fundamental shift in the way people make buying decisions. Consumers have become more distrustful of traditional advertising and, instead, rely heavily on the recommendations of friends or other consumers. For example, Amazon.com shoppers often thoroughly read buyer reviews before making a purchase and frequently ignore product offerings that hold consistently low ratings.
In fact, nearly all purchase decisions today are influenced in some way by a brand advocate, which is why it’s critically important that brands identify and cultivate social relationships with current and prospective buyers. Savvy brands must take proactive steps to not only encourage more activity from brand advocates, but also to track and manage that activity for optimal results. This group of advocates should be treated like a tangible corporate asset, one that must be handled with care and nurtured to encourage organic growth. And, brands must provide appropriate tools that make it easy for advocates to share products and services through social and mobile means.
Moving forward, customer acquisition success will rely heavily on how a brand is able to manage its advocates; it won’t come from heaping money on traditional advertising. These social channels also need to be properly “mobilized” by encouraging mobile-based sharing and promotions.
Once these brand advocates are lined up and given the right tools, companies must spur them to action. Here are three simply ways to help mobilize brand evangelists:
- Classic refer-a-friend promotions in which an advocate actively suggests the brand to others in his or her social circle. In some cases, the brand may offer a financial or material reward, which may be tied to a specific call to action, such as generating a signup or direct purchase.
- Encourage brand advocates to create content, such as a review or testimonial. Those who do this can become powerful allies in wooing the majority of prospective online purchasers searching for reviews before making a decision. The way brands talk to their advocates can influence the tone of their reviews, which has an immediate impact on sales.
- Motivate brand influencers to share your message with their own social network. If you are having mixed results using traditional targeted advertising, consider rewarding your advocates for doing the work for you by sending out promotions to extremely targeted consumers.
How do brands encourage these actions among their customers who advocate? Their products or services must be first-rate, but they also need to make social outreach simple and relevant. Even the most devoted brand advocates will be hesitant to recommend products if the sharing process is difficult or takes too much time. In the mobile age, all consumers expect to have results quickly, and the process of sharing is no different.
What types of tools should brands introduce to encourage social-based advocacy? Rewards, contests and other incentives are suitable activities because they are transparent, an effective way to demonstrate that the brand values its customer base, and, they’re trackable, which ultimately aids in gauging results. To support these efforts, companies should also ensure that customer service/support is able to handle queries sent through social or text channels, which shows advocates the brand is catering to their personal needs.
Moving forward, the most successful brands will embrace social brand advocacy as a distinct marketing channel that will drive a greater percentage of revenue down the road.
No comments yet
Leave a Comment
- Infographic: B2B Content Tug of War
- 5 Mobile Strategies to Make Marketers Merry During the Holidays … and Beyond
- Gone In 10 Seconds: How the Pioneers of Snapchat Marketing Use the App to Build Their Brand
- SPECIAL REPORT: Ad Fraud and the Anatomy of a Botnet
- Survey: Effective Content Marketing Requires 10 or More Posts a Day
Adknowledge Announces Launch of ‘AdStation International’KANSAS CITY, Mo., November 25, 2013 (ADOTAS) – Adknowledge is pleased to announce the launch of AdStation International, a global [...] more...
- Infographic: Adobe By The Numbers December 12th 2013 ADOTAS – Adobe just announced results for its fiscal year that [...] more »
- Marketo Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Insightera, Extending Leadership in Multi-Channel Relationship Marketing December 12th 2013 SAN MATEO, Calif., December 12, 2013 (ADOTAS) – Marketo , provider [...] more »
- Rakuten MediaForge Chooses LiveRamp To Bridge Gap Between Customer Databases and Online Marketing for Brands December 12th 2013 SALT LAKE CITY, December 12, 2013 (ADOTAS) — Online marketers [...] more »
- VisualDNA Integrates with Adap.tv, Advertising.com, DataXu, Krux & Rocket Fuel December 12th 2013 LONDON, December 12, 2013 (ADOTAS) – Audience insights company VisualDNA [...] more »
- Simpli.fi Closes $16MM Round of Series B Funding December 12th 2013 FORT WORTH, TX., December 12, 2013 (ADOTAS) – Simpli.fi, an [...] more »
- MyCityWay Partners with USA TODAY to Launch Vegas-Themed App December 12th 2013 NEW YORK and MCLEAN, VA., December 12, 2013 (ADOTAS) – [...] more »
- Study: Dispop Trumps Google Display Advertising in Side-By-Side Comparison December 11th 2013 ADOTAS – Lest we forget, Google is an advertising company [...] more »
- Infographic: B2B Content Tug of War December 12th 2013
- 5 Mobile Strategies to Make Marketers Merry During the Holidays … and Beyond December 12th 2013
- Gone In 10 Seconds: How the Pioneers of Snapchat Marketing Use the App to Build Their Brand December 12th 2013
- SPECIAL REPORT: Ad Fraud and the Anatomy of a Botnet December 11th 2013
- Survey: Effective Content Marketing Requires 10 or More Posts a Day December 10th 2013
- Digital Media Specialist - Video
- Mgr Channel Planning (Social Media)
- SEO/SEM Analyst
- Manager Planner - Digital Vendor Marketing
- Brand Manager
- Stephen: Your new autoplay video commercials are REALLY annoying. It means I cannot leave your story
- Why Social Media Will Live Past their “Expiry Dates”: [...] in social media stock prices. In May 2012, Facebook reported a $35 billion loss
- Chris Zaharias: Very interesting data. All respect due to Google for having built and scaled tools for
- Dick Bennett CEO: Richard, I (and my company)have been on this scene for years. We performed the initial