Turn your “likes” into advocates

January 7, 2014By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

Posted by Dave Wendland

One challenge facing organizations who have added social media to their marketing mix is how to measure return on investment and gauge the medium’s effectiveness. I’ve spoken to too many companies – large and small – who feel the success of social media (e.g., Facebook; Twitter; blog; Pinterest; etc.) is how many “likes” they can accumulate.how many "likes"

To my way of thinking, being popular does not translate into business opportunities. Think about it this way: if we were in a beauty pageant and the goal was to win “Mr./Ms. Congeniality,” then being popular matters. However, if we want our target audience whether consumer, retail buyer, or wholesaler to vote with their purchases, then our goal better be focused on WINNING.

The dictionary definition of winning simply states that “this is the act of one that wins; victory.” I believe to truly win with a brand (or in a business relationship) is not a one-time event or single victory. Rather I contend it is an ongoing commitment to create advocacy. This public recommendation and support is far more action-oriented than the popularity contest!

Developing brand advocacy requires four essential ingredients:

  1. Honesty – you have to be able to keep your word
  2. Consistency – reliability matters
  3. Originality – offer something uniquely different
  4. Adaptability – listening and responding to feedback (good and bad) will increase your value

So the next time you are about to press “Like” on brand message posts, popular consumer packaged goods or restaurants, or a photograph that caught your eye, ask yourself, “Could I truly ADVOCATE for this brand?” Remember, you want your customers and prospective customers making the advocacy decision when they tell you they like your product or service.

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