Studies show that if someone has a problem with your business, they’re very likely to take it to Facebook or Twitter. Not only do people tend to “flame” and “troll” on your favorite social media sites, but according to research from VB Insight, consumers complain on social media about local or corporate companies about 879 million times a year. Ten percent of these people make a complaint every day.
As marketers in industries such as CPG, one of our main goals is often turning casual consumers into repeat buyers. There are a few ways we can do that through methods such as influencer marketing, consumer education, sales…but one of the most important and best ways to grow brand loyalists is to take your consumers on a path from people who simply buy your product, to people who advocate and live with your product.
If you’ve heard a lot of buzz about Social Brand Advocates lately, you maybe have wondered what is the big deal? It’s pretty straightforward – having a quality advocate program can provide ROI almost beyond what other marketing methods can provide, especially from a social media perspective.
More organizations are realizing the value of having employees actively engaged on social media representing the organization. This is true of for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, as well as municipal and other government entities. These brand advocates benefit their organizations in a number of ways from increasing reach, to spotting trends, to responding to community needs. Across the board, the key to achieving success with brand advocates is training.
Engaging fans on social media comes naturally for brands people love to identify themselves with, like health food, gyms, or good times. But what if you’re one of the thousands of services we all need every day, even if we’d rather not tell the world about it?
Whether they are highly regulated or their corporate culture is just too risk averse, lots of companies and brands face the same hurdles that a public school district faces. This process and policy for managing social media risk should be used as both encouragement and a model for brands everywhere.
As PR pros know, “mommy bloggers” represent an important bridge between home, family and parenting brands and their customers. Mom blogs have the power of reach and trust, and can be one of the most effective brand advocacy tools. But when communication between the “mommy blogger” and PR pro goes awry, the opportunity for what would have otherwise been a mutually beneficial relationship is lost.
While harnessing the power of employee advocates can be a lucrative business opportunity, employers and employees alike need to recognize and appreciate the risks each one brings to the table, and ultimately develop a mutually beneficial advocacy program. Until that time, you may want to rethink the idea of becoming an employee advocate.