Using Social Media To Create Customer Advocacy
Social media is about using online tools for customer advocacy. There is a difference to being loyal to a brand and advocating a brand. In 2008 58% of Americans use social media to interact with brands, in 2009 the number is at 78%.
Social media tools come and go. Consumers’ expectations are changing. In fact, they want more out of brands. That is a good thing. How does a brand live up to the expectations of consumers?
- Create awesome products!
- Superior customer service!
- Have a strong, authentic, community engagement
People buy things from brands that listen. Engagement correlates to financial performance. It doesn’t matter how many twitter followers, search engine ranking or amount of traffic, what it comes down to is authentic engagement with consumers. The more engaging a company is with consumers the more their financials have increased, the less they have engaged the financials have decreased.
“If you love your customers, they will love you back, and tell others!”
If a brand can create a strong consumer advocacy, those consumers will build the brand for you. Empower your employees to be advocates for the brand online.
How to create a customer advocacy program:
- Top down support from executive management
- Employee Activation
- Internal Collaboration
- Social CRM planning:
- Social Media ‘Rules of Engagement’
Going Viral! The keys to driving traffic and acquiring users
What is virality really? Virality is taking one action and turning it into many. This is accomplished by creating virality in the ‘stream’. Push it out into the main social media networks, Facebook, Twitter…Myspace. Sharing is caring. Once it is seen in the stream it will encourage others to do so as well.
‘Likes’ are good for page views, but don’t get picked up in the search results like ‘sharing’ can. Make sure that other users are sharing your content. Think about what users are doing, how can they share it with others within their normal routine. Not everything will go viral, you need something interesting.
People love ripoffs, comedy and lists. What’s trending in content lately? Be proactive rather than reactive. Recent Case Study: Old Spice! You never now when something will go viral, it will happen. All you can do is present it as best you can and hope for the best. Watch what is trending to get ideas then capitalize on it now, don’t wait.
If you make it sharable…they will share it! Provide embeddable codes, share buttons, tweetmeme, digg etc.
How do you become an influence? Get involved, be active then STAY active. Contribute, give back to those that help you. RT others, digg other stories, share other posts etc.
Tony helped prep a story about cell phone planes compared, it results in gaining over 600 backlinks, countless views/visits and the page is now a PR4. In this case good content won over ‘trends’.
It all comes down to being genuine and understanding how to leverage each social network properly.
The coming Digg V4, and what it means for you!
Going ‘viral’ is getting attention from people who normally don’t care about your product. You can’t always been an influence yourself. But digg does allow your content to be presented in-front of influencers. Digg V4 is coming!
Get Ready for a big change! There hasn’t been a change since 2006. Minor changes:
- The Digg bar is gone!
- Sub-categories are coming, upcoming is gone.
- Recommendation is now ‘My News’.
List of big changes:
- Power users? Rise or Fall?
- Power Users become Influencers
- Power Users know the publication schedule, they do the homework to provide the other users on Digg what they want
- Power Users are now Influencers
- Whenever you Digg something it doesn’t go to those who ‘might’ be interested, it now goes to everyone who is following you.
- This means Influencers could lose a lot of followers
- Less focus on user recognition
- New Power Users
- How many twitter followers do you have?
- Facebook friends?
- Publisher Accounts
- Digg has always been out to make deals with publishers…if they are big enough.
- The new Digg is allowing RSS feeds for auto content submission.
- Currently in Alpha users are abusing this, even though they are not publishers.
- Duplicate Submissions
- No more URL change submissions!
- IM is still effective
- You can add followers/friends via Twitter & Facebook
- If you were banned before you’re not anymore!
- Doesn’t mean the stuff you used to submit will still become popular.
- Silent bans
- There is still a question mark as to banned users
- A silent ban is where Digg will not allow material from a banned site/user to reach the front page. The user will be unaware, hence the term ‘Silent Ban’. There is no way to get cheating/natural votes for your story.
- If you were banned before you’re not anymore!
The majority of users on Digg never login to the site. Many of the changes will depend on adaption. All those who put in hard work to use the system properly…lucky you! Digg like other social network sites rewards users who are genuine, work hard and present great material.
Target influencers, you want them to notice your content and RT your stories/Digg your submissions, etc.