Brand Advocacy: Engaging with Your Biggest Fans
Do consumers love your brand so much that they are willing to permanently ink your logo on their body? We can’t all be Harley-Davidson, Fender, Apple, or even Google, but we can do a better job of creating and growing a loyal base of fans online.
We all recommend products and services to friends, whether it’s mentioning a delicious craft beer we just sampled or actually posting an online car review because the dealership treated us like royalty. When we recommend brands to others via word of mouth or social media because they did right by us, we become brand advocates.
So, what does it take to turn your current customers into brand advocates?
Brands build distinctive personalities that differentiate them in the marketplace – but it’s the consumer and the community that can make or break a brand. Know your audience, set the tone, be consistent, create relatable and unique content and, most importantly, be human.
Once you have developed brand advocates, make certain they are heard. Re-tweet their comments, post their insights on your website, share their brightest ideas on your networks and make sure to give them credit for all that they do. The ultimate benefit is giving these loyal advocates another great reason to talk about how awesome you are.
When customers seek out your brand on social media, they’re looking for an opportunity to build an emotional connection, not just a pretty Facebook photo or Twitter profile. By engaging in conversation with them, you are giving them this emotional connection. Comment on their posts about your product, thank them for posting a picture – do whatever it takes to join the conversation.
Advocates want their relationship with the brand to be honored consistently. It doesn’t take many negative experiences to lose a fan.
True advocacy isn’t a numbers game. It’s the natural byproduct of developing good one-on-one relationships, providing great consistent service, and delivering on your brand promise.
The key takeaway: don’t be routine in your customer interactions – be remarkable! Make it a part of your culture and brand DNA.