Cultivating a group of trusted advocates is crucial to building a strong brand advocacy program. Here are a few ways to cultivate brand advocates for your business:
Identify potential advocates
Starting a brand advocacy program starts with selecting the right advocates. You should look for people who are passionate, knowledgeable, authentic, and influential.
People with a lot of social media followers can help increase brand recognition but don't limit your search to popular social media accounts. Employee advocacy and customer advocacy programs are also great ways to find people who can build consumer trust and increase brand awareness.
Build relationships with advocates
Building relationships is a key part of brand advocacy. Forging real relationships with advocates gives you an opportunity to gain valuable insight into why people love your products.
Take the time to reach out to each potential advocate and talk to them about your brand advocacy goals, how you want to be represented as a brand, and what you're offering in return. This is also a good time to talk to your employees about employee advocacy.
Create a brand advocacy program
Now that you've reached out to social media influencers, customers, and other potential brand advocates, it's time to start your brand advocacy programs.
You can have separate brand advocacy programs for different types of advocates, including employees, customers, and social media ambassadors. Your brand advocacy programs should provide some kind of benefit for people who talk about and recommend your brand to others.
Provide incentives and rewards
A good brand advocacy program should include a rewards program that encourages people to advocate for your brand. You don't have to spend a ton of money on your brand advocacy program because these are people who already love and support your brand. Even something as simple as new products and gift cards is a nice way to say thank you.