Today’s word of mouth marketing doesn’t always come directly from one’s lips – it often comes through a Facebook post or a Tweet! Are you utilizing your most active, engaged followers?
It’s time to turn your social media followers into brand advocates.
Whether on Facebook, Yelp, Google+, or simply a tweet or Instagram post, online customer reviews and recommendations are far more powerful than anything your business can put out on its own.
Your loyal customer base is following you on social media because they want to connect with you as a brand. Make sure you provide opportunities for your followers to connect with you.
How? Here are a few ideas:
1) Encourage your followers to share special moments. This will inspire user-generated content you can use in your own promotion by retweeting, reposting, and sharing.
Take REI for example. They have been running a promotion, asking their followers to share special moments using the hashtag #REI1440Project to show their love of the outdoors.
Fans can submit their photos through the website, on Instagram, or through other social media channels. REI then compiles them on their #REI1440Project website and shares the best, most inspiring images on their social channels. This type of sharing builds brand loyalty, brings their community together, and creates killer content at the same time.
2) Ask questions that will evoke engagement and sharing. Ask people to share a picture of themselves using your product or service. Asking something relevant to your community will encourage them to interact and share.
3) Ask your followers to write a review. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask!
4) Offer benefits to your followers. Special discounts, offers, and coupons offered to your social followers will provide yet another reason for customers to follow your brand and will encourage sharing (so their friends can get in on the goods, too).
5) Join the conversation. Getting your fans to engage is half the battle. Show that you care and are listening by joining in on the conversation! It’s also a good idea to acknowledge your brand advocates publically, which will lead to continued contribution, increased loyalty, and will inspire others to jump on your brand’s bandwagon (hopefully by becoming advocates themselves)!
6) Ask your employees to be advocates. Employees have the inside scoop and can help advocate for your business and spread the word. They can also curate some great content by sharing their experiences at the company in words or images. Followers love to see what it’s like on the inside!
A small amount of advocates can have a huge impact. These enthusiastic customers will go beyond a “Like” to sharing reviews and talking about your brand with other potential customers. This type of new-age word of mouth marketing is something your business simply cannot buy.