Brand advocacy can be an extremely effective marketing tool if you learn to recognize when it's happening and consciously take advantage as opportunities arise. Not all businesses have brand advocates, but great ones can build massive amounts.Brand advocacy can be an extremely effective marketing tool if you learn to recognize when it's happening and consciously take advantage as opportunities arise. Not all businesses have brand advocates, but great ones can build massive amounts.

Who is a Brand Advocate?

A brand advocate is essentially a person who spreads the word about your brand and how great it is. This is someone who will sing your small businesses’ praises on a consistent basis and spread the word about your products and/or services, building word-of-mouth, typically across social media channels, but really anywhere that people might be paying attention.

The real beauty of the brand advocate, however, is that they are not being paid to spread the love. They're just doing it because they legitimately love the brand and want others to know about it. 

Who are your Brand Advocates?

More often than not, your best brand advocates will be satisfied customers. These are the people who have had a great experience with your products or services, or they truly believe in your mission. They want to share their passion with friends and family the way they might do so with a favorite musician or sports team.

"Pay attention to your social media accounts and the customers who engage with you there," says GrowBiz CEO Rieva Lesonsky in a post on the SBA.gov blog. (1) "Use social listening tools to search for posts outside your accounts that mention your business, products or services. Don’t forget about local social media sites, such as NextDoor. You’ll often find people on these sites asking for recommendations to local businesses or services. Search for mentions of your business and you might be surprised who is recommending you."

Even employees can be Brand Advocates

Brand advocates aren't limited to happy customers. Happy employees can also fit the mold and spread plenty of advocacy across their own social networks.

"If employees are sharing content and consistently championing the company they work for, it can reach more businesses and people," notes Todd Kunsman at EverythingSocial. (2) "Your employees help the brand and messaging grow exponentially, while also turning your employees into thought leaders and knowledge magnets."

This is one great reason to keep your employees happy and always work to keep morale up and provide great leadership. Employees who are impressed with their employer and the company they work for are much more likely to play the cheerleader role outside of work.

How can you utilize your Brand Advocates?

It's great to be able to identify brand advocates. It can make you feel great about the work you're doing, but how can you utilize them to create even more benefit for your business?

Mention.com has some great recommendations, including , tapping them for case studies, making use of customer referrals, and integrating testimonials into social media marketing messages. (3) Brand advocates can also be a great source of constructive feedback. If they already love your brand, any criticism they have is likely to have validity, and you can use that to improve your product or service.

How can you grow advocacy for your brand?

The most obvious and effective way to grow brand advocacy is to offer a great product or service that people love. Nothing creates great word of mouth like simply delivering on quality. Managing customer relationships is also key. Develop relationships with customers that extend beyond simple transactions. Engage with them and put real effort into getting to know what they like and don't like. Always look for ways to improve.

It's hard to beat word-of-mouth marketing, and brand advocacy is an extremely positive version of that. The more brand advocates you can foster, the better your overall reputation is likely to be.

 

1. https://www.sba.gov/blog/how-market-brand-advocates

2. https://everyonesocial.com/blog/brand-advocacy/

3. https://mention.com/en/blog/turn-brand-advocates-into-marketers/