On 20 February 2013, I had the pleasure of attending Master Class: Engagement@Scale – Three Steps to Leveraging Brand Advocates with Dachis Group. Speakers from the Dachis Group included: Michael (MJ) Jones, Vice President of Technology; Liz Schroeter Courtney, Social Strategist and Allison Squires, Social Strategist.
The presentation focused on social marketing as the ideal way for brands to authentically interact and scale engagement with customers. Social media facilitates messaging large groups of people. Additionally, panelists spoke about leveraging brand advocates, a brand’s most trusted and effective audience group, to spread a brand’s presence beyond internal corporate efforts.
The Dachis Group offered a three step approach to working with brand advocates around (I) identification, (II) mobilization and (III) measurement.
How do companies identify advocates?
+ Frequently talk about particular brands
+ Have positive feelings about particular brands
+ Desire to influence others
+ Advocates should be people that others trust
According to Edelman’s trust index, people trust academics, experts, people like me and employees at a company more than CEOs, government institutions and financial analysts.
“Friends are better marketers than marketers.”
92% of people trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth.
What’s more, 67% spend more online after receiving recommendations from online communities.
It’s the power of advocacy.
How do companies mobilize advocates?
+ Foster relationships — Make advocates feel valued
+ Create mutually beneficial relationships – Reward your advocates
+ Must be authentic, not just driven by money
Good examples of brand advocacy include:
+ Red Bull
+ Coffee Mate
+ Vitamin Water
How do companies measure results of working with brand advocates?
The aforementioned companies successfully mobilized advocates to increase customer awareness and mindshare in the market. Things to consider:
+ Increasing the reach of the brand
+ Enthusiasm and sentiment
+ Conversion patterns and business impact
+ Community engagement
+ Frequent activity, frequent brand mentions and frequent purchases
Finally, give advocates space to engage with the company’s audience. Does your company provide forums, community events, product initiatives, etc. Help advocates develop a suite of experiences for audiences to engage and invigorate positive feelings about your brand.
Want to see it for yourself?
Lisa Chau has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Lisa currently works as an Assistant Director in Alumni Relations at Dartmouth College. She has been published in US News and Forbes. You can follow her on Twitter.