3 Simple Ways to Engage Brand Advocates

| RBOA + Digital Opps | Written by: Erin Schmidt

3 Simple Ways to Engage Brand Advocates

Brand advocates are like cheerleaders – exceptionally loyal, always enthusiastic and eager to share that energy with the folks in the stands. Simply put, a brand advocate is an individual who identifies with, supports and promotes your business or organization’s products and services.

Brand advocates are your biggest fans. Isn’t it time you showed them some love?

To keep brand advocates excited about your business or organization, it is important to cheer on their efforts. Here are three simple ways to engage your brand advocates and ensure they continue to cheer loudly for your business or organization:

1. Recognize Them

Everyone likes to be recognized for their goodwill efforts. Brand advocates are no exception. Whether you send a tweet that says “Thanks for sharing our big news!” or give more formal recognition in an e-newsletter or blog post (such as a Member or Customer of the Month), telling your advocates that you recognize and appreciate their efforts goes a long way in motivating them to continue to speak highly of your brand.

Bodybuilding.com does a nice job of recognizing their members with a Member of the Month feature that includes a member bio, photo and interview questions. Click here to see an example.

2. Reward Them

Nothing incentivizes brand advocates like a good, old-fashioned reward. This is a great tactic not only for thanking existing brand advocates, but also for identifying and engaging new ones. Be strategic about the reward by linking it to a particular action you would like them to take.

For example, one of our clients wanted to boost social media engagement at their annual conference earlier this year. To inspire attendees, we instituted a contest that awarded a gift card to the top social media user at the conference. Brand advocates came out of the woodworks to compete for the prize, posting information learned, fun photos and praises for the event – even long after the conference was over.

3. Ask Them For Their Input

Brand advocates often know your products and services better than anyone else, because they love them and use them often. Why not ask them what they think? Whether you are instituting a new program, rolling out a new product line or want ideas for a catchy new slogan, brand advocates will love that you have turned to them for advice. Asking brand advocates for feedback is also a great way to beta test marketing initiatives and crowdsource new ideas.

For an example of a brand that does this well, check out Chobani Yogurt’s Twitter stream. Chobani constantly engages brand advocates by asking them questions and soliciting opinions on products – and boy, do their brand advocates eat it up!