Brand Advocacy 101

Brand advocates are more reputable than any company on its own. For this reason, businesses have started to prioritize their customer success teams and processes.

But why stop there?

Brand advocates can be more than just your customers. They can be your business partners, your employees, your friends. What are these groups of people saying to their networks when your company is not within earshot? A comprehensive brand advocacy strategy can – and should – be a part of every business’ marketing plan. Incorporating brand advocacy software into your strategy can streamline the process of engaging with your advocates.

Turn Your Customers into Brand Advocates

Your customers can be your most reliable, and impartial, advocates. Whether via review sites or through their friends, prospects will turn to your former and current customers to collect information on your company and offerings. It is in your best interest to ensure that they have something good to say.

It goes without saying that not every customer will have a positive experience. In cases like this, learn from your unhappy customers. Listen to their feedback. Businesses have just as much of an advantage with review sites as prospects do. You have unlimited access to the genuine, unbiased thoughts and feelings of your customers. Use these resources!

Your customers are talking, and it is in your best interest to listen to what they have to say:

  • If your customers are criticizing your company or product, acknowledge their complaints. Let them know that you’re listening. Clearing the air and addressing their concerns could open the door up for advocacy opportunities. Angry customers who are ignored become angrier customers – trust us.
  • If your customers are endorsing your company, acknowledge them, too! Your customers have zero obligations to promote your product for you. Reach out and let them know that you appreciate their feedback. Utilize advocate marketing to drive reviews from these customers. And remember: happy customers can give constructive criticism, too.

Turn Your Employees into Brand Advocates

Employees satisfaction plays a role in brand advocacy, as well. Public review sites, like Glassdoor, are a great resource for determining employee satisfaction. Companies should use the feedback that employees provide to improve culture in the workplace. Teams cannot function and will deteriorate without a positive company culture. 

Like your customers, not every employee will have a positive experience at your company. Identify the pain points for employees like this. Use their experiences to build upon and strengthen your company culture.

Identifying internal strengths and weaknesses among your employees will help them function better as a team. People who enjoy what they do, do better work.

Make sure the work your company is doing is great.

Best Practices for Brand Advocacy

There are many actions businesses can take to: 1) evaluate the level of their customer and employee advocacy; and 2) increase their level of brand advocacy across the board.

Evaluate Your Brand Advocacy:

  • When onboarding customers, ask why they chose your company and product.

Big indicators of brand advocacy can include responses such as: “We found out about you from…“ or “We’ve seen you picking up a lot of visibility,” etc.

  • Ask veteran customers for testimonials.

Customers who are willing to take time out of their day to provide you with a testimonial are definitely brand advocates. Likewise, customers who are willing to connect with your prospects and provide a reference can become vocal brand advocates.

Best Practices for Improving Your Brand Advocacy:

  • Responding to customer and employee feedback should be an integral part of your process.

Positive or negative, feedback should be taken seriously. Your customers are taking the time to provide you with honest feedback. Take the time to hear them out and acknowledge their experience.

Need help getting an advocacy program up and running? Take a look at our Gamification & Loyalty category for ideas and real user reviews!