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The Top 5 Ways To Identify and Mobilize Advocates On Social Media

By: Chris Newton, VP of Business Development at Influitive

Some things are just better together: Peanut butter and chocolate. Milk and cookies. No, they aren’t always food-related. Here’s one that might actually impact your business: Social media and advocacy.

Social networks are the perfect venue for your most passionate, vocal and engaged fans to share their love for your company. While they may not necessarily have the millions of followers or thousands of connections marketers expect from more traditional influencers, many of these people are influential within their own personal and professional social circles. Their peers look to them for answers to questions, recommendations, and their latest thoughts about vendors and products.

As a marketer, you can fuel greater interest in your brand, generate leads, support your sales efforts and more by harnessing these micro-influencers’ voices within the social media sphere.

Perhaps Hank Barnes, Research Director at Gartner, says it best: “If buyers trust and rely upon peers, and you have a base of fans that love to talk about you, what would be a better source of value than advocacy marketing?”

Make the most of your advocates

Given that social media can be one of the best places to identify and mobilize your most passionate advocates, here are the top 5 ways to do just that:

  1. Tap into the power of social listening to find advocates. Keep a running search stream for your company name, key customers, prospects and high-profile industry influencers in your social media management tool of choice. This makes it easy to see who is speaking positively about you and on your behalf in the social sphere in real time.
  1. Proactively engage advocates on social media. Once you’re identified those who have positive things to say about your company or solution – your advocates – reach out to thank them, share what they’ve posted with your own followers, and continue the conversation when appropriate. Just don’t leave them hanging! They’ll notice and be less likely to advocate for you in the future.
  1. Expose conversations on social channels.Track questions people ask about your company and your competitors on social media, and put them in front of your best offense and defense: your advocates.  They may not already be aware of every single online discussion happening about your company, but there’s nothing wrong with asking them to respond if they can. People are much more likely to trust one of their peers sharing their genuine experience with your company over someone from your sales or marketing team. It might take a little longer, but it’s your best chance to bury the competition with peer-to-peer marketing.
  1. Brainstorm even more creative ways advocates can get involved. Dissect your sales and marketing programs, campaigns and events to identify everyday activities advocates can take part in. From sharing content to posting reviews to referring new business via social media, the possibilities are endless!
  1. Invite your biggest social media supporters into an advocate marketing program. The only way to ensure that your fans continue tweeting, commenting, liking and sharing on a regular basis is to invite them into an advocate marketing program. This type of program allows you to mobilize your advocates and recognize their participation in an engaging, scalable and measurable way.

Get more from social media and advocacy

With so much to be gained from your advocates’ participation in social media channels, make sure you’re strategic about tapping into their influence. Then, take it up a notch by combining the power of both social media and advocacy to take your marketing to new heights.

To learn more about how to do this, join me and Viralheat’s Eileen Bernardo for this webinar on Thursday, October 30 at 11 a.m. PT: The Power of Identifying and Activating Social Media Influencers in 7 Simple Steps. Register now.

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