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michael brito

How To Inspire Customers And Build Brand Advocacy

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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.

Announcing Facebook Lunch Time Chats with NMX Speakers

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Michael Brito will join us for our first Facebook chat.

New Media Expo attendees often tell us they’d like nothing more than to spend time with our speakers and pick their brains a bit. Our speakers often tell us they’d like nothing more than to hang out with our attendees and learn more about them and answer questions.  I’m happy to report the twain shall meet in the form of weekly Facebook lunch time chats.

Beginning this week, a different speaker will join us on the NMX Facebook page to take part in our weekly chats, which will be held every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. EST. The topic of each chat will also be the topic of each speaker’s NMX or Business Next session so you can get a little sneak preview by asking questions. To start things off, Michael Brito, SVP of Social Business at Edelman, will stop by this Wednesday, October 24th. His topic is “The New Influencers: Brand Advocacy Inside and Out.”

Join us this Wednesday to talk with Michael and join us every Wednesday until mid-December to chat with a different NMX speaker.

The Difference Between Social Business & Social Brand

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Session: Social Business: From Organizational Chaos to Corporate Governance
Speaker: Michael Brito

Did you know that there is a difference between a “social business” and a “social brand”? According to Michael Brito, the SVP of Social Business at Edelman Digital, a business that uses social media channels to communicate with their customers has a social brand but is not necessarily a social business.

In his new book Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization, he explains that a social business is actually defined by its social infrastructure.

“It’s the difference between kind of the internal communications versus the external communications,” he says in the below WebProNews interview. “An organization cannot have effective and meaningful conversations with customers unless they are having effective and meaningful conversations with each other.”

So, which is it for you – do you have a social brand or a social business?

Michael Brito will be speaking about this topic in further detail in his “Social Business: From Organizational Chaos to Corporate Governance” session during the Social Media Business Summit at BlogWorld LA. Be sure to check it out!

BlogWorld and New Media Expo is partnering with WebProNews, a news publication covering search, social media, and ebusiness, in an effort to broadcast how new media can grow your business, brand, and audience. WebProNews has covered BWE since its first show in 2007. Check out reports from previous shows here, and stay tuned for much more coverage from BWE LA.

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