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Nurturing Social Media Advocacy from the Inside Out
Posted on May 13th 2014
Nurturing and growing advocacy for your organization can be of paramount importance for its continued growth and success.
On social media, advocates can greatly enrich the experience of your community, contribute to the promotion and dissemination of your content, alleviate demands on your customer service team, expose key insights that can be applied to your business planning and strategy, and provide broader exposure for your organization across the social web.
Needless to say, there are a huge number of ways that social media advocates can have a positive impact on your business, and those listed previously are just a sampling.
The challenge is that identifying advocates isn’t always a simple task, and more challenging still is finding ways to encourage those advocates to sustain high-levels of involvement within your social media communities, and others around the web.
Fortunately, you probably already have a roster of dedicated advocates that are right under your nose. Of course I’m talking about your coworkers or employees.
With a bit of training, encouragement, and potentially incentive, there are a number of ways that you can tap your coworkers or employees to have a dramatically positive impact on your organizations’ efforts on social media by essentially functioning as an internal network of advocates.
Following are just a few of the ways that your internal network of advocates can help your business through their activity and involvement on social media:
ENRICH THE COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE
For many businesses, brands and other organizations, sustaining a meaningful hum of activity on social media can be a challenge, particularly as it pertains to more involved methods of interaction such as commenting, and inter-audience involvement.
Lucky for you, there’s no reason why your internal network of advocates can’t drum up a bit of dialogue on social media. They can provide meaningful input, ask interesting questions, provide responses to audience members, and more. If you give them a bit of encouragement to be vocal on your social media communities, it’ll also increase the likelihood of others following suit.
CONTENT PROMOTION AND DISSEMINATION
Increasingly, getting your content in front of a targeted audience of scale is becoming difficult. Reasons for this include the extraordinary volume of social media noise, brands being hypercompetitive for attention, the fragmentation of the social media and technological landscape, and certain platforms restricting the content that our audiences have easy visibility to.
Overcome these challenges by encouraging your internal network of advocates to share and promote the amazing content you’re creating with their own social graphs. Not only will this result in broader reach and increased organic impressions, but the content will likely be reaching a large proportion of individuals that are not unlike those you work with, and not unlike the audience you are ultimately trying to reach.
CUSTOMER SERVICE SUPPORT
There are times when providing customer service support can be a daunting task, even for well staffed customer service departments. Also, it is sometimes difficult to track every single opportunity for providing customer support without the occasional miss.
There’s no reason why your internal network of advocates can’t help to alleviate some of this pressure by responding to the many questions and concerns that they’re more than qualified to answer. And who knows, maybe they’ll have a level of insight and understanding that can be more helpful to your consumers than your customer support team would be able to provide.
Gaining deep levels of insight and understanding about your consumers, category, competition or products can serve as solid foundation for business planning and strategy, and social media can be an invaluable tool to glean some of that insight. Sometimes, however, it’s not so simple to spot.
This is where your internal network of advocates can come into play. Through their personal social listening and activity in various social networks and communities, they can expose insights that otherwise would otherwise be of great challenge to identify and substantiate.
Advocates can broaden your organization’s exposure on the social web to networks, sites, communities and channels that are beyond your reach or knowledge. The trouble, again, is orchestrating or encouraging this behaviour amongst a group of people you only know from digital and social correspondence.
However, if you foster a culture of advocacy amongst your employees – and of course run a great business that they will be happy to advocate for – you can create an environment in which they’ll happily sing the praises of your organization, operations and offerings.
An added benefit of encouraging your coworkers or employees to be vocal social media advocates on behalf of your organization is that it can also help to build advocacy amongst others. A thriving and vibrant social media community for an organization offering amazing value is surely going to capture attention, be viewed as being highly valuable, and make advocacy absolutely infectious.
How do you tap your employees to support your efforts on social media?
How do you foster a culture of advocacy within your organization?
Which businesses or brands do you feel do the best job nurturing advocacy on social media?
It would be great to hear your thoughts and chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial