For many companies the most untapped resource is their customers itself. Brand advocates can take the customer relationship a step further and create positive sentiments within their communities about the brand online as well as offline.
A brand advocacy program can prove to be much more powerful and effective compared to traditional PR, marketing or advertising methods. By leveraging existing fans and followers on social media, one can create or increase brand awareness, develop customer loyalty and get relevant real-time feedback for any product and service the brand has to offer.
“Social media & brand advocacy fit perfectly by amplifying consumer voice. Trust is huge! 74% of your audience trusts other consumers.” – @ItsJeffHiggins
Quoting Jeff Higgins, word of mouth just isn’t face to face anymore. It’s cross app/platform and your brand becomes a daily lifestyle!
If you think you can go with a common brand advocacy strategy on social media, then you are highly mistaken! Consumers are omnipresent and brands need to listen and figure out where they are and what they are saying to build a relevant brand advocacy strategy.
“Social media adoption is a must for brands that want to spur employee engagement.” –@maxthemarketer
A response by your favorite brand or acknowledgement of your feedback is and will always be ‘invaluable’ and goes a long way in building a deeper connect/ relationship with the consumers.
“Social media has facilitated brand advocacy by helping to humanize the brand. Brands are now more relatable & approachable.” –@ideabloke
It’s one of the best ways to determine the direction your brand is going or needs to be going! By observing what the customers want, understanding their behavior on social media, brands can continuously tweak their advocacy strategies to best serve their customers.
“Social listening is the key to keep a track of conversations online and responding to the consumers as and when the brands get mentioned.”
In the real-time NOW world, humans seem to have lost patience! Correct? Think about it, you had a bad experience with Dominos Pizza, what would you do?
Take a pic of your pizza
Post it online with your negative feedback
Tag Dominos with hash tags the brand wouldn’t ever want to see!
Leave a bad review on Zomato perhaps?
Call up the customer service to get your Pizza replaced etc. etc. etc.
In just a matter of few seconds, the brand has been shammed for a bad customer experience.
As a consumer, all you will expect is a quick or immediate response by them for the feedback shared.
“Social customer service has to have the “Now” factor. Respond immediately and solve any issues. Responses over 5 mins are now too long!” – @ItsJeffHiggins
That said, in my opinion, I feel the brands that respond more meaningfully are way better than those who automate response to negative feedback.
“Automation without human interaction is soulless & cold!” – @Socially_M
While there are technologies like chat bots/messenger bots which makes for a brilliant customer service strategy, presence of a human is very important. There must be someone at the back-end to track orders / review feedback and also personalize the response as and when required.
There are no two thoughts about having a “human” touch to the brand.
At the end of the day, you need to create a good experience for your customers if you want to survive in the competitive environment.
“Love it when I get a “Hi Kirk” response instead of “Dear Customer.” – @KirkHazlett
Social media helps a brand to have personal connection with their audience and develop brand advocates over time. Social is all about people and relationships. Whether you are a brand or an individual, if you are constantly listening to your customers or followers, giving them what they want, anticipating their needs, engaging with them, delighting them by solving problems or adding value without having to be asked, you are on your way to build a community and network of advocates who will stand by you through the thick and thin!
It’s really that simple…
As Brian Fanzo says, ” Show YOU care!“
Social media in the future will help brands shape customer experience. Positive word of mouth and customer experience must be the focus of any brand because it can make or break the future of a brand and its advocates.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to read them in the comment section below!
The article first appeared on LinkedIn.
Ancita always came across as an eager learner and willing to go the extra mile. She's got good language and social media skills and uses these to her advantage. She was also dependable and I believe she would be a good asset in any organization. I wish her well for the future.
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Ancita is a Star performer at Six Degrees. She takes initiative and has a ‘To Do’ attitude. This has reflected in her taking up the onus of focusing her skills on Digital within the firm during the last one year and even on her own through an initiative like the SocialPowWow. She has a strong understanding of developing engaging content for audiences to increase relevance for brands. We believe that she has great potential to develop as an integrated communications professional.
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SocialPowWow chat is one of the most innovative conversations involving small businesses and thought leaders. Ancita deserves a lot of credit for being the go-getter in bringing everyone together.
I'm impressed and inspired by Ancita Satija for creating an initiative as cool as SocialPowWow and making it a movement. How many young professionals go above and beyond to make a mark and leave a legacy? Ancita has set an example for others to follow. I am sure this weekly tweet chat will grow to become much more than just a chat.
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I had the pleasure of working with Ancita, during my time at Burson Cohn and Wolfe. Ancita is affable and very easy to work with - great qualities to have in a team mate! She's a dedicated employee whose positive spirit helps guide the team that she’s in. Her experience and knowledge in digital, from copywriting to social media strategies makes her an asset to any organisation.