Ah, for the simpler times when a loyal brand advocate was someone who bought your stock. Now the metaphor has come full circle, and these advocates are branding themselves.
Now it’s time to find them and tell them how much we appreciate their support! (…bonus points if you urge them to get tats of your logo)
Industry Analyst, Jeremiah Owyang, explains how important it is to identify and build relationships with your consumers in order to make social media more scalable. Brand advocates are more influential than ever (see our big hit ZMOT article for more info on current pre-purchase trends). In Owyang’s Article he tells us how key it is to make these loyal customers feel integral to the brand, which in turn feeds the incentive to recruit their friends.
In an effort to help us develop advocacy programs, Owyang gives us a pragmatic, if over-simplified, 5 step approach:
“1. First, get ready internally.
2. Find the right advocates that will represent your brand.
3. Build a relationship for the long term.
4. Give them a platform-but do not pay them.
5. Integrate them into your business and recognize them.”
In our experience, number 1 can be the hardest. For all their embrace of social media, companies still struggle with the ‘social’ part. Be ready to share your brand vision, and maybe take time to develop a tat-worthy logo.