Who better to promote your brand than those who have already benefited from it? After all, who do you think your potential customers are more likely to trust? Do you think it’s the claims that you make about your own business, or the claims a customer makes about their experience with your business? Well, in our experience it’s the latter. And this is exactly why you will want to keep on reading. Stay tuned to learn how you can turn your existing customers into brand advocates.
What is a brand advocate?
Just as it sounds, a brand advocate is someone that views your brand favorably. It doesn’t end there though. A brand advocate will proceed to share this positive perspective with others. This may involve direct word of mouth sharing, or through the use of social media. Either way, these individuals will play a key role for your brand. Typically, these are consumers who do not have a vested interest in your business. This is half of what makes them so valuable. Brand advocates tend to appear as a much more trustworthy source for reviews.
Asking your customers to become brand advocates.
Before we dive in here, a word of caution needs to be shared. Here it is. You should first ensure that you customers are happy with your services prior to asking them to become brand advocates. Otherwise, you may find that the message being shared isn’t particularly positive. If you’re not careful, it could lead to unintended consequences that may hurt your business. However, assuming that you have a well-run brand with lots of loyal followers (which we’re sure you do), here’s how you can go about turning your customers into brand advocates:
The Direct Method: Here you can directly ask your customers to become brand ambassadors. You may want to ask them to share content featuring your brand, otherwise known as user generated content, or you can set up an affiliate program.
The Indirect Method: The other option is to indirectly ask your fans to become brand advocates by positioning your question in a different way. Instead of directly asking people to share content featuring your brand, you can add an incentive. For example, you may ask them to share a piece of branded content for a chance to be featured on your page. We’ve also seen lots of businesses do this. It also tends to involve using a hash tag and tagging the brand’s page so that it’s noticed.
Realistically, either of these options work. However, you know a brand is doing something right when they don’t even have to ask their customers to become brand advocates because they already are. This happens when a brand is seen as stylish, or maybe it represents a community that people want to join.
The benefits of developing brand advocates.
As we’ve already mentioned, there are huge benefits to be realized by developing a following of brand advocates. Consider the following:
Network effects: Brand advocates help in terms of generating wider reach and heightened levels of awareness. Essentially, when a user shares something about your brand, their social network is exposed to your brand, as well as the message the user ties to it.
Social influence and trust building: After exposing additional consumers to a particular brand through network effects, the whole concept of social influence comes into play. Social influence is even more effective when the person sharing the content is seen as influential. Basically, it helps to establish an initial sense of rapport with this new audience.
Increase in sales: So long as people are sharing positive messages with the branded post, then it will ideally lead to more sales for your business. This is the ultimate goal of developing a following of brand advocates.
The bottom line is that if your customers aren’t brand advocates, then you’re not leveraging them as you should be. If it’s a matter of your customers not being satisfied with your brand, then perhaps you should read our article about utilizing
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