Monday, April 9, 2012

Four Ideas for Activating Your Brand Advocates

Definitions of Fan and Advocate

First, let’s establish the two camps when it comes to boosting your brand worth: Facebook fans and brand advocates. The two are not 
necessarily mutually exclusive, but they are different.

A Facebook Fan:
  • “Likes” your page
  • Probably doesn’t promote your brand in any measureable way
  • Runs the gamut from completely inactive in terms of promoting your brand to being an active influencer

A brand advocate:
  • Actively promotes your brand
  • Brings in new business
  • Writes reviews
  • Publishes testimonials
  • Talks online and offline about your brand
  • Acts as a volunteer marketer for your products

Turn Fans Into Brand Advocates

You’ve got to activate your fans to become brand advocates. Activating your advocates requires that you do the following.

1.) Present your Facebook Fans with opportunities. Take a look at every way in which new customers interact with you—not just your fans on Facebook. You can create various communication strategies that reach potential advocates where they already are—purchasing products, checking their email, visiting your website, or contacting your call center. The possibilities are endless.
2.) Empower your advocates to refer other folks. Give your advocates the tools to take action online and offline through multiple channels. In just a few clicks, advocates can upload their contacts from any major email provider or post on any social network using templates you provide. Offline, advocates can keep referral cards in their wallet, hand out brochures at the front desk of their businesses, or send offers through SMS texts. All those methods spread brand awareness, generate high open rates, click-throughs, and impressions. They also prompt your fans to take action and become advocates.
3.) Nurture your new advocates. Acknowledging and thanking your new advocates is a surefire way to keep them satisfied and energized. You can provide your advocates with status updates throughout the process, send them targeted opportunities based on what you know about them, reward them with or without incentives (even a simple thank-you note can be motivating), and provide strong and consistent customer service.
4.) Track and manage your advocate relationships. Now that you’ve converted your fans into your advocates, you’ll need the technology to track and manage those relationships. Partner with a company that can provide key metrics that keep the momentum, such as web analytics, referral action and frequency, and customized reports.

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