Many companies in the past were focused solely on those clients who brought in the most money. This is a dangerous attitude to have. In today’s world every customer is important to some degree. Ask a company who provided poor service that ultimately cost them in a social media post.
Building an advocate network is a great way to build your brand in a way that people know about your company and are always interested in learning more. Word-of-mouth is coming back in a big way. You see people talking about brands in online chats, social media sites, community events, trade shows and conferences.
The definition of advocate usually includes words like “support”, “recommend” or “promote”
Social media sites have done a disservice to this term by labeling these people followers. People want to be an advocate of great companies. The tough part for companies is to recognize these people and treat them as advocates more so than followers. Here are some examples of how you can encourage advocates of your company
- Offer an advocate some company property: pen with company logo, shirt with company logo
- Give an advocate some marketing materials like price list, annual report
- Offer your advocates a tour. Many local business networking groups and organizations enjoy company tours and once they get a look at your company, they will tell others.
- Connect with your business vendors through outside groups and organizations.
Finally – Start promoting your personal brand more. This is the step that most people overlook. I talk about my company, Midwest Laboratories on a regular basis with other marketing professionals and executives in the community. It lets people know who you are and helps people associate a person’s name with a company brand.
Take it to another level and connect your personal brand with people on Linkedin. I use Linkedin, exclusively for connecting with clients and advocates. It shows that I want our connection to stay professional and by participating on a regular basis, I will keep in touch with these people.
Stop trying to build your follower counts and look at building your network of advocates. There is a big difference.
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