The Steps to Building Advocacy through Social Media

There are many benefits to using an advocacy platform for large corporations and brands. For starters, you let your advocates be your own personal marketing department. When you have fans that spread the good word of your business for you, there is no need to pay for expensive advertising.

Today, social media is such a significant part of the advertising industry’s marketing strategy that there are entire jobs and positions dedicated to it. You can use social to drive traffic, build brand awareness, improve your reputation, and eventually create new sales.

However, there is a missed opportunity, as not all brands employ social media for advocacy purposes. Social channels are a great way to create promoters and highly engaging advocates for your brand. They are a spectacular way to spread your message because they believe in your product and are willing to testify for your brand in a public way.

So why use social media for advocacy? It’s simple. It’s where your customers – and potential customers – spend the majority of their time. According to Mashable, more than 66% of adults are connected to one or more social media community. Sharing your brand’s content on social platforms can significantly help you reach new audiences. Incentivizing advocates to spread your message will also rapidly increase your fanbase, and in turn, your sales. According to a recent survey from Yesmail, social media users are more likely to respond to product offers shared by friends and family in their networks than to offers included in sponsored posts and social display ads.

Here are the steps to building brand advocacy through social media:

  1. Find your advocates.

It’s important to know where your advocates are and how to connect with them. Identifying who your brand advocates are on social media is the key to spreading awareness and increasing all-around engagement. The best way to do this is by searching for those who are already sharing and promoting your content.

There are many tools available online to help you discover which people are sharing your message, like Traackr or Viral Heat. These can help you monitor who is saying what about your brand. There are also free analytics tools on social media platforms that will help you narrow in on who your true advocates are, like Facebook Insights and Twitter Insights. They aren’t that difficult to find, either, because true believers in your brand are liking, commenting, and sharing your content already.

  1. Build rapport.

Starting, growing, and maintaining a positive relationship with your advocates is necessary if you want them to continue sharing content on social media. All relationships are a 2-way street, and if they don’t feel the the love from your brand, they’ll likely back away.

Once you’ve identified who your brand advocates are, you’ll want to be sure to keep them on board. When you build a rapport with them on social media, they’ll feel secure, engaged, and then more likely to continue their commenting and sharing for others to see. Engage with your customers and join their conversations. Replying to their updates, commenting on their blogs, and e-mailing them to brand advocates your appreciation will prove that you care about fostering your relationship with them.

  1. Encourage and Inspire

Brand advocates are well connected. They enjoy sharing content, reviewing products, and telling others about their experiences. In order to keep them active, they will need to feel inspired and excited to share new content. Surprise your customers by creating events and promotions worth talking about and watch the positive word-of-mouth spread like wildfire. Advocates are also more likely to share content than any other customer, so you’ll want to make sure they continuously have good reasons to vouch for your brand and keep your positive reputation.

  1. Measure and Analyze

The entire point of having advocates for your brand is to let them do the talking for you while you maintain a great and reputable business. If you’re using an advocacy platform like Spendsetter’s, you already know that there are many benefits to having a dashboard and reporting tab where you can measure the success of your advocate marketing. If you’re not already on board with an advocacy program, you probably at least understand the importance of being able to track your progress and stay in-tune with who is saying what about your brand. Spendsetter lets you create a fully customized dashboard with the information you value most to better understand your advocates and their actions. You can also manage all of your campaigns, rewards, and offerings all in one place.

When you invest in your brand advocates, they will bring incredible value to your brand. By using Spendsetter’s advocacy platform, you can manage, incentivize, and target campaigns to those in a certain demographic or location to positively promote your products on their social media channels.

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