Engagement vs. Advocacy

Yesterday I shared the news that Jeb Bush officially entered the presidential race. 

Does that mean I'm a Jeb Bush Advocate? 

Not exactly. 

In fact, the prospect of a third Bush in the White House has me thinking of moving to Italy.

Permanently.

Advocacy vs. Engagement

Marketers, listen up:

Just because consumers like you or follow you, or share content about your brand, or participate in a contest doesn't mean they recommend it. 

Advocacy = Recommendations

When a consumer advocates your brand or product, they're pro-actively telling friends and others: this thing rocks. You really should check it out or buy it.

That's different than a consumer posting a photo of her dog wearing a sweater she knitted for him with your logo on it.

(Hey wait a minute, that sounds like a cool promotion. First 10 people to submit their pet photos with the Zuberance logo get $100 off their next advocacy campaign.)

Advocacy: Different & More Valuable than Engagement

I'm not saying engagement isn't valuable. We all want greater involvement by customers with our brands.

But, as the chart below shows, advocacy is different and more valuable than engagement.

So to sum it up:

1. Be clear on your program or campaign objectives: advocacy or engagement.

2. If advocacy is what you're seeking, provide ways that people can recommend your brand or product.

3. Segment your customers. Advocates are your highest-value customers. They don't just like or follow you. They recommend, endorse, and even evangelize your brand and product.

And that's more valuable than posting pet photos or hitting a like or follow button.