Loyal customers are excellent for regular revenue, but they can also become brand advocates for your business. Every business, no matter how large, can benefit from additional marketing; word-of-mouth promotions from satisfied customers is highly effective. By having your customers recommend your company to their friends, family and co-workers, both your customer base and brand awareness could increase.
Identify the Advocates
First, you’ll have to identify the customers that will make solid brand advocates. Ask consumers how likely they are to recommend your business to a friend or colleague on a scale of one to 10. Customers who respond with nine or 10 are your potential advocates.
Ask For Reviews
When speaking with a satisfied customer, ask them to leave a Yelp review or a testimonial on your website. Create a custom hashtag for Twitter and Instagram users to use when they post a photo of your product. Make it easy for the customer – send them links to your social media accounts and review sites.
Create an Online Community
On your social media accounts, post updates worth sharing to get current customers talking and prospective customers engaged. Even the most professional, business-oriented companies should be personal and relatable online. Questions, surveys and intriguing photos entice consumers to interact with your business, especially if they’re funny or provoke a strong feeling.
Share Your Reviews
When a customer leaves a review on one platform (like Facebook, for instance), share it across other platforms (like Twitter and your website) to leverage the feedback.
Keep Track of Advocates
When you pinpoint your advocates, keep track of their personal information, including name, e-mail address, company and job title. Also track the type of brand content they’re creating on your behalf, how often they’re promoting your business and where they’re sharing the information.
Don’t Reward Your Advocates
Happy customers will want to spread the news because they’re impressed with your product or service. Some business resort to giving advocates a nudge via a contest, discount or VIP access to an upcoming sale. According to Forbes, this can do more harm than good to your business. Recommendations that are motivated by a reward can lower your credibility and reputation. Studies have shown that prospective customers are less likely to buy your product or service if they find out an endorser was given an incentive.