Is your head already spinning from the jargon? Take out the marketing terminology, and the concept becomes pretty simple. A brand advocate is someone that is spreading a positive message about your company.
This could be through:
- Traditional word-of-mouth sharing
- Posting on review platforms like Yelp
- Sharing with friends and family on social network sites like Facebook
Here’s the best news. If you are getting referrals for your business than you already have brand advocates.
Where do your brand advocates come from?
Most often your brand advocates are going to be satisfied customers. They’re willing to talk about your company because your products or services helped them, and they want to pay it forward either by helping you, or helping others benefit the same way they did.
But that’s not the only source.
If you have staff, then hopefully they are excited about the business and want to see it grow. Despite the fact you’re paying them, you can’t control their word-of-mouth or what they say on off-hours. But if they are invested in the business, they may be advocates and willing to help spread the good word.
Partners and Peers
Do you have vendors or partners that you work with who would be willing to lend a kind word? Or perhaps helped make a connection for you in the past?
Maybe you are part of a mastermind or entrepreneur group, and the other members of the group are supportive of you and want to see you grow.
These people may also be brand advocates.
Friends and Family
While most of us think only of business connections, I bet there is no one that’s more proud of you than Mom and Dad. They probably tell everyone they know how well you’re doing. While you might wonder how Mom bragging on you can help your company, think of this as exposure in the best possible light. And you never know: Mom’s friend’s daughter may have a business that needs you.
Why identify brand advocates?
Why is it worth going through the exercise of finding out who your brand advocates are? Because sometimes you want to mobilize this group to help you spread a message.
Think of social media. If you want to share a company announcement, how many people will you reach?
Now if you asked all your advocates to help you share that message, how many more people would you reach?
Add to that the idea that studies have shown time and again, people trust messages more when it comes from one of their peers. Imagine how much more powerful your message becomes when it’s shared by your brand advocates instead of just you?
A word of caution
Be careful with your asks. If you’re asking your advocates for too much, then the goodwill for your company will slip away. But if you can help those that love your company feel more invested, you may see your engagement rates soar!