Recently SocialChorus’ social strategists presented with WOMMA, the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association, to share best practices and lessons learned about word-of-mouth marketing. The webinar covered several important lessons that we’ve learned from running hundreds of advocate marketing programs.
Trust your advocates. Many brands initially want to be very prescriptive when it comes to asking advocates to share content and stories because they think a more prescriptive approach is the best way to mitigate risk. The reality is that a less prescriptive approach is more effective. Advocates know their audience better than the brand and product content that more trusted and creative than anything the brand could’ve prescribed. By worrying less about the negative, brands have the opportunity to receive high-quality, creative content in return.
Recognition is a powerful form of thanks. Many brands assume that providing “value” to advocates requires a huge budget but the reality is when it comes to advocates value doesn’t equal dollars. What is valuable to an advocate depends on what kind of advocates you are working with. Blogger, consumer and employee advocates all require different and varying types of “thank yous”. One of the most effective types of thanks a brand can give an advocate is recognition – consumer and employee brand advocates want to feel like their voice is being heard and when a brand recognizes an advocates, it builds brand loyalty.
Conversations are always on. Just like you wouldn’t turn off your Facebook page – you can’t turn off your advocates. Once you activate your advocates, you open up the opportunity to create a lifelong customer. Advocates are talking about brands 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – and brands have the opportunity to be a part of those conversations.
Don’t forget about the people who already love your brand. It’s important to remember the people who already love you brand. Your employees and customers are some of your best brand advocates and it’s important that you power them to share their stories as well.
Word-of-mouth is nothing new. However – social media has revolutionized word-of-mouth and new technologies now allow brands to scale advocate marketing tactics. For more details on these lessons and for more word-of-mouth marketing lessons learned, download our ebook Word-of-Mouth Marketing Lessons Learned.
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