Looking for Something?
Posts Tagged for

brand advocacy

Does Your Business Facebook Page Really Matter?

Author:

facebook page Online marketers often put a lot of emphasis on Facebook pages for small businesses. More and more often, I see restaurants, bars, retailers, and other businesses posting signs alerting customers of their Facebook page. And some of these Facebook pages are really good; they’re filled with interesting updates, announcements, pictures, coupons, and more.

So what?

You can’t take your Facebook likes to the bank. So, I have to wonder: Do business Facebook pages really matter? Or are they just taking up time that could be spent on actually building your business?

Like Conversion

I see people boasting about how much engagement they get on their Facebook pages. Engagement is great, because it means that your customers are interested in what you’re saying and they enjoy your brand. But if those likes are directly correlating to sales, does it really matter?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How many people found out about my product/service because Facebook?
  • How many of my fans are actually buying from me?
  • How many of my fans are repeat customers?

More importantly, you should ask yourself: How many of my customers are ONLY customers because of your actions on Facebook? If people would have purchased from you anyway, Facebook doesn’t really matter, even if they are engaged with what you’re posting.

Determining this is the tricky part, since often Facebook fans are people who were already customers or thinking about becoming customers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Poll your customers. One restaurant in my community, Dishes of India, includes a short survey card with every single bill so they can learn about their customers and find out how much you enjoyed your meal (they also ask you to give your email address for their mailing list, which is really smart). You could easily ask “How did you hear about us” on this kind of survey card.
  • Do a promotion with a coupon that you distribute across all your channels (email, print flyers, social media) including Facebook. Later, do a similar promotion where you don’t offer the coupon Facebook, but still distribute across your other channels. Of course, there are other variables here as well, but this can at least give you an idea of how much Facebook helps you make sales.
  • If you’re a local business (i.e. people buy in person, not online), measure your local fans. Are people liking you because they like your products or service? Or are they liking you because you post funny pictures and interesting quotes? If you’re a restaurant owner in Idaho, it doesn’t do you a lot of good if half of your fan base live outside of the United States.

Brand Advocacy

Understanding the benefits of Facebook for your business is tricky, because sometimes it isn’t just about sales. It’s also about letting your fans work for you as a “street team” of sorts.

Street teams began as a way for record labels to promote music in a really inexpensive way. Often in return for little more than a t-shirt and tickets to the next show, street teams distribute flyers and serve as brand advocates for the band in question, doing all they can to promote their music. They do this not for the money, but because they love the music.

On Facebook, that fan who never makes a single purchase can still be extremely valuable if they introduce your brand to 50 people who do make purchases. Or, depending on what you’re selling, even if they introduce your brand to one person, a single purchase could mean a lot of money in your pocket.

The benefits of brand advocacy are really hard to measure. Again, polling can help you determine how people found out about you, but it isn’t an exact science.

Updates that Matter

If you’re going to be on Facebook, the key is to post updates that really matter. That way, you know that likes and shares from your audience are really benefiting your brand. What kind of updates matter?

  • Announcements about Your Company
  • Event information
  • Success stories
  • Pictures Showcasing Your Products and Services
  • Testimonials
  • Blog Posts
  • Fan Photos
  • Coupons and Sales Information

Essentially, the type of updates that matter are about your company. Funny pictures, cartoons, quotes, etc. don’t matter as much because they don’t really relate to your business.

That doesn’t mean that you should never share that hilarious meme photo you came across. It just means that you shouldn’t measure your success by how many people share or like this image. When people share a coupon or a picture from your latest event, it matters a lot more.

So Does Your Business Really Need Facebook?

Yes. Probably.

It really depends on your business. Sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense. But if your target audience uses Facebook, you should at least give it a try. Measure your results and remember that raw like and share numbers don’t matter as much as conversion matters.

At the very least, be there so you can listen. If someone talks about your business online, you want to be there to answer them, whether that means responding to a complaint or thanking them for praises. Sometimes, social media is less about finding new customers and more about taking care of the ones you already have.

Do you think Facebook really matters for small businesses? Should all businesses be active there? Leave a comment below!

How To Inspire Customers And Build Brand Advocacy

Author:

There is no simple formula for inspiration. There isn’t a single process or “8 simple steps” that will help you change customer behavior. Everyone is different. We are all inspired by different things and at different stages of our lives. As a boy, I was so inspired when Daniel-san “laid the smack down” on Johnny Lawrence of the Cobra Kai in the Karate Kid that I begged my mom to sign me up for Karate lessons. Today, those things don’t really inspire me much anymore, well maybe a little … oh, and Karate lessons only lasted a few months.

But one question that we must ask ourselves is whether a brand can actually inspire their customers?

I believe it can. But it requires a fundamental shift in how we as marketers behave, act, communicate, plan and go-to-market. We must stop referring to customers as target audience, segments or page views; and consider that they are real people, with real emotions. We must learn to give without any expectation at all of receiving anything in return. I call this reciprocal altruism and sometime it’s as easy as just saying, “thank you”, maybe an @mention to a customer or maintaining a positive attitude when we are getting grilled online.

Certainly ROI and business value are important here and I am not saying that we must be scared of the “hard sell.” The great thing about content marketing is that you can move customers up, down and through the purchase funnel by simply providing content that matters – the right content, at the right time, in the right channel to the right customer; and not forgetting about how paid, earned and owned media work together across the social eco-system.

It reminds me of a book that was written well over a decade ago and it was definitely pioneer thinking at that time. Seth Godin’s “Permission Marketing” was written on the premise of reciprocal altruism. He argued that marketers must build trust and credibility with their customers and then “ask them for permission” to market their services. Same concept today and even true for IRL relationships. It’s simply applying what we already know to be true as humans.

And the truth is, there are some companies that inspire for one reason and one reason only. They have bad-ass products. I don’t care at all if they say “thank you” on Twitter or crowdsource community feedback because they are looking to create a new product. As long as they continue to innovate and stay bad-ass, I will continue to be inspired, buy their products and tell all my friends about it.

The challenge for most companies is trying to operationalize this behavior and build repeat processes that allow for scale. This is why I am really excited to be teaming up with Matt Ridings of Sidera Works for our session at the upcoming BusinessNext conference in Las Vegas. Our session, “The New Influencers: Brand Advocacy Inside & Out,” will give key insights and actionable take-aways in order to build brand advocate programs externally with your customers and internally with your employees. We hope to see you there!

To read more about brand advocacy, you can look over my social business blog or follow me on Twitter.

Michael Brito: Chat Transcript

Author:

This month at NMX we launched weekly, lunchtime chats on Facebook. Our first special guest was Michael Brito, SVP of Social Business at Edelman. Michael’s also one of the speakers at our BusinessNext Social Conference in January. His session is titled “The New Influencers: Brand Advocacy Inside and Out.”

Michael’s worked with big brands such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Yahoo!. He is also the author of Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media In Your Organization. If you missed our first, weekly chat with Michael, the transcript is below.

Shane Ketterman I have a question! What are 3 main differences between “influencers” and “advocates” and why is this important?

New Media Expo Michael – Tell us some of the ways brands can inspire customers to act as advocates.
Michael Brito: hi!…sorry I am a few minutes late!
New Media Expo It’s all good – We’re on Facebook time!
Michael Brito when I think about advocacy … a term called Reciprocal Altruism comes to mind… it’s this concept that we as marketers need to “give to the community, without any expectation of receiving anything i return”
Michael Brito if you take that concept and apply it to everything you do from a content perspective, that is how you turn friends, fans and followers into advocates
Michael Brito @Shane .. this one is easy….
Michael Brito Advocates already love the brand and talk about it everywhere. Influencers, for the most part, require incentives…
Shane Ketterman Thanks Michael! Do you think that Influencers and also be Altruistic and is that important?
Michael Brito there are also several tools you can use to help facilitate a brand advocate program …
Michael Brito Gaggle AMP, Social Toaster, Zuberance, Influitive, Social Chorus
New Media Expo What are some things to consider when putting together a customer advocacy progam?
Shane Ketterman I like the distinction actually and in a way – – we are all advocates for something – – I fall in love with things I use and tell others on a continual basis, but companies may not even know that I’m doing it…
David Schwartz Are Edelman clients looking for social media ROI as well as metrics?
Michael Brito @Shane — good point. Usually influencers are advocates of a certain vertical i.e. travel, technology … there are always exceptions
Michael Brito but rarely are they going to talk about just ONE brand. The advocates will .. assuming the level of emotional equity associated with their experiences with it
Megan Enloe Good point Shane. Michael can you share some ways companies can find and reward the people who already love them and are naturally being their advocates?
Mark Fidelman Do you think traditional PR is making the leap to Social? or are they still resisting the move?
Tina Baljian Michael- In the ”what’s in it for me” world, what can a brand do to encourage word of mouth marketing ?
Michael Brito Mark Fidelman .. they have to and if they haven’t yet began the transition, they will surely find themselves irrelevant and losing business.
Michael Brito @David yes, many of our clients report into digital marketing organizations so ROI is extremely important.
Michael Brito @megan usually advocates can be found through a conversation audit. An audit will tell you where the conversation is happening (twitter, blogs, forums, etc.), the sentiment of conversations and also identify the advocates. Also looking at your own facebook/twitter activity is a way to find advocates … they are the ones that are commenting/sharing/RTing, Liking your content the most. Simply MEasured (monitoring company) can also do this.
Dave Taylor Michael, social media is fundamentally about *people*, but that often is at odds with the need of a brand to remain autonomous and anonymous. There’s no Mr. Nike or Ms. Starbucks. The result: we have companies like Panasonic and Wal-Mart creating fake people to tap into social media’s buzz – astroturfing – or brands more identified by their representatives (I’m thinking of Microsoft and Robert Scoble) even when the person’s left the company. How do you counsel companies find a balance with this complex tension and be successful here on FB and elsewhere online?
Michael Brito @David — some ROI metrics also include decreasing call center calls, etc.
Mark Fidelman Michael Brito who inn your opinion has made the transition?
Michael Brito @Dave .. i look at it differetnly. Social media is about content… but that content should be created (paid, owned, earned) in a way that changes behavior. You can’t change behavior unless the brand is “human”. Dell is a great example of a company that has created employee advocacy .. basically enabling their employees to build their personas online. And guess what, they don’t just have one person. They have several hundred as does Intel and IBM Social Business.
Michael Brito so when I think of the Dell brand, I don’t think of Austin or a logo or whatever. I think of the people that work there that I have relationships with…
New Media Expo Michael Brito What can a brand do to seem more human when all customers see is a logo?
Michael Brito creating fake people isn’t smart and I think most companies have learned that this isn;t a best practice. Instead, they are using employees, customers and partners to feed into the content engine.
Michael Brito Mark Fidelman do I really need to answer this? LOL .. of course Edelman but also Ogilvy has done a fantastic job and even some of the smaller PR firms like Shift Communications, Voce, etc.
New Media Expo Beyond Facebook, what are some of the ways brands are reaching out to their communities/customers and achieving good results?
Michael Brito New Media Expo .. as I said in an earlier comments, employee advocacy (which I will talk about in my session) is the key to humanizing a brand. Not just empowering employees, but “enabling” them using content, process and even technology.
Michael Brito New Media Expo they are data mining their Jive/Lithium support communities and many are creating new communities using advocacy platforms like Fancorps, Influitive and Social Chorus.
New Media Expo Michael Brito – I know you had another appointment this afternoon. Thanks so much for joining us for our chat today, and I hope you won’t be a stranger on the NMX Facebook page.
Michael Brito Thank you New Media Expo .. had a great time!
Michael Brito I will stick around for a few more mnutes in case there are any more questions.
New Media Expo Thanks, Michael! Looking forward to your presentation at NMX and feel free to use this space to pitch your latest project.

Mark Fidelman Michael Brito I am very disappointed with most PR firms, where do you feel the industry needs to evolve? Also, Will traditional PR be dead in 5 years?

Michael Brito Mark Fidelman .. traditional PR functions like media relations will never go away. It will change but won’t be dead. The evolution needs to come because the skillset requirements will change. Many traditional PR pros don’t get social, search, paid media, etc. That will change.
If you enjoyed this chat, be sure to check out Michael’s session at the BusinessNext Social conference in January! And, if you’d like to join us for our next lunchtime chat, visit us on Facebook this Wednesday (10/31) at 10am PT/1pm ET as we welcome our special guest Phil Hollows, perhaps best-known for his work at FeedBlitz and author of List Building for Bloggers.

Learn About NMX

NEW TWITTER HASHTAG: #NMX

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives