Where can you find people who would want to be your advocates?
You can find your potential advocates everywhere you go, yes, they’re all around you. You have had interactions, they have done a purchase from you and in times of crisis they are who pops out of nowhere to encourage you, defend you and sometimes even offer help. As you can see, you won’t have to move mountains to find them, all you have to be is stay on top of your business and know it well.
Sounds easy already, right? It could even get easier when you have your own data. When you need to start identifying potential brand advocates, the best thing to do is to start with your daily data and start identifying them from there. Aside from data a good way to find them is with the help of social media platforms. When you keep an eye on your social media accounts, you will easily identify potential advocates. And the more active you become on it, the more chances you’ll get to find the right people because your reach becomes wider.
What signals should you be looking after?
- Customer mentions
- Likes from your customers
- People who share your posts
- People who retweet your tweets
- The engagement
- Questions customers ask
- Reviews from your customers
- Comments from your customers
Depending on the platform, all of these would show you who interacts with you the most at this moment. It could pay off if you try to reach out to all of your contacts but if you focus on those who are consistently engaged with you, your efforts and investment would pay off faster.
For instance, Facebook sharing isn’t equal. Some people would go straight to “Share Now”, while some would ta time to write a description or explanation on why they are doing it. When people take the time to write something then they are more involved with you and would be easier to convert into your brand advocates.
Management systems for customer relations
Go on and ask your team about the repeat customers that your brand have. If someone had purchased your products for more than three times or if they have been a user for a long-time then it would be a great idea to reach out to them. But why? Here’s why:
First of all, if they aren’t satisfied then they wouldn’t come back and buy again.
Second, They are more likely to recommend your company because they already know more about it.
Expert tip: Make sure that you always keep track of complaints. When your CS representative handles a complaint well, customers would usually reach out and thank them. Grab this opportunity to turn that customer into an advocate. Studies show that it could be easy to turn a complaint that was handled well into an advocate.
Make sure to review websites
There are a lot of review sites available, and no matter what industry you’re in there will always be an available review site for it. Just to make it clearer: for travel we have review sites like Trivago, for technology and applications there’s G2Crowd. And these review sites makes sure that whether you like it or not, you can’t escape from word of mouth online. So go on and look around for online reviews written about your company. Reaching out to people who leave a good review would be a good idea, but if you’re planning to build a relationship do it with people who:
Who has left a stellar review. They are the ones who are primed for brand advocacy.
Who has left as negative review. They are the ones who have potential to turn into a gold mine.
When you successfully resolve the issues that they have with you, you could turn them into ambassadors from detractors. And even if it ends up unsuccessful, you have shown other potential customers that you are willing to reach out in order settle things. You can go on and search for social media tools that could make all of these easier for you too.
Dividing your brand advocates
Customers- they are considered the most important ones in the division because they are not in any other way affiliated with you aside from being customers. You can divide them into subsets, VIP are those who spend the most per year, and so on in order to have a more targeted approach.
Employees- They are more likely to have above-average participation, and that will pull in others as well. When you create a solid base from then you get more advantage, especially when you are still starting.
Business partners- When you get your business partners involved you are signaling your customers that you aren’t a pariah in your own community. You also get to reach other industry deals.
Influencers and experts in your industry-when you’re a B2B then keep in mind that your potential customers go through 3 contents before deciding where to make a purchase. When you have an influencer that’s known in your industry, you could have more advantage over the others.
You’d have to leverage every advocate in different ways. Like for employees, you don’t have to push too hard because they already have interest in your business. So getting them on board could increase your reach up to 2,000%.
But you also have to remember that not everyone would be interested in endorsing your brand, and not everyone will be willing to participate in your content creation process. So you’d have to make additional divisions like:
Brand Activists – they are those who basically love your brand or depend on your services so they really want see you to succeed. They become really active and they usually have no problem adding you to their daily chores.
Marketing Partners –they are the ones who won’t have second thoughts in telling you what needs to be improved or what’s already okay. When you are about to launch something or if you’re planning to improve something, you can use them as an asset.
Brand Informants –They are those who have been your customers for a very long time. Because of how long they have been your customers they sometimes even know more than your support team does. They could help in your internal support by replying to social media customer questions.
Reputation Managers – Now when your brand is under attack, they are your army. They are the first to defend you when some people attack you.
Ways to make sure you get the best
Quality Over Quantity
For testing purposes having more could work but when you are choosing, having all of the top qualified prospect advocates is more ideal. With the use of data, as mentioned above, you would be able to choose those who are more qualified. You also have to make sure that aside from what the data has provided they also have a large following, and they fit into your geographic location. Remember, quality would give you better results compared to quantity.
Know the Goal
Your advocates could also bring you potential advocates too. As much as you want them to bring in more customers they could do both. Your top advocates would most likely have a good amount of followers and social presence, in other words they could give you both customers and adapt a new incentive structure to start another referral goal.
What you offer isn’t generic, so you better make sure your ambassadors isn’t too. when you create an advocate campaign, it’s something like creating your business team. Your advocate should be professional, a leader, knowledgeable in marketing, has a good online presence, and has the ability to grow relationships. Your advocate should be an example of your brand, and if it takes time to find a person that would fit what you need then keep looking and don’t settle for less.
Make use of Social media
One key to finding the best advocate is by making sure that they are active on social media and has a good number of following. So make sure that you look for them on social media platforms too. Some people might have not subscribed for your email but interacts with you on social platforms regularly. Social media could be a gold mine in your search of advocates. And with the help of social media, you could already have a sneak-peek of how they are, like their voice, their strategy, and their style.
How can you reach them?
I’m pretty sure you want to convert awareness into action. But how can we do that? The goal here is to attract influencers that have the highest potential to become your strongest brand advocates. They are those who you not only trust but are those who can also act on their opinion.
They should have an opinion
Good advocates would agree or give their opinion about something related to your brand, and when they share your opinion, they make sure they create a well-considered one. Consumers that are too busy read through influencers posts in order to find the best. And in order for your advocate/influencer to assure you that the message will go out, it must have great content, substantial, and it should have the influencers opinions to make it more personalized. Most people find the best advocates by debating with them, because provoking them will catch their interest and make them check your website.
Don’t just rely on the follower count
Individual influencers are those who actually look like us and even like the same things we do. They are those who’d filter out all the things that we aren’t interested in and catch our interest with things we genuinely like. But there’s no point in creating awareness if it won’t convert so that would bring us back to quality over quantity. A person with a high following doesn’t always mean an effective influence. And having 2 influencers with a wide reach is so much better than having 10 influencers with a narrow reach. Also, not influencers should be in the same group because there are different ways that advocates could help.
Get to know makers
Usually, those who are actually quiet are those who are mostly turned to when opinions are needed. These people who carefully consider the topic you are asking opinions for are called makers. Everyine actually know them, the techy friends who knows their Acer from Apple, your sister who’s seen Games Of Thrones the moment it was out, the friend who goes to every party. They are the ones who know best about things that they are genuinely interested in. And they are the best people to ask opinions from because they love sharing recommendations to other people. They might not have a large follower but their connections with people are meaningful and that makes them convert people from being aware to doing action.
Most of the time, reaching influencers, prospect advocates could be difficult. But that doesn’t mean it’s unlikely to happen. When you start with your customers and people you know, there’s a big chance that it would be successful. Makers are people who usually get forgotten because they aren’t the loud ones in the industry but little did they know that they give the best opinions on things that they are passionate about. You’re actually surrounded by potential advocates, but to get the best make sure that you make use of your daily data, you make sure you set your goal, and when you find them make sure that you put them in groups in order to complement each other.
When you are still starting your advocate campaign, make sure that you make use of people who are already interacting with you and are part of your business because they will be the ones who would be happy to see you growing. By the time you’re reading this you’ve read all the things you have to know in order to spot the best brand advocate for your company. Keep them in mind and put them in practice in order to achieve your goal.