Since GM pulled their investment in Facebook Advertising (and are apparently considering returning), the effectiveness of Facebook ads has become a hot topic. At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Coca-Cola CMO Joseph Tripodi defended Facebook against naysayers. According to MarketingWeek, Tripodi believes that Facebook is still in infancy and we should be more focused on what it stands for (building relationships) rather than the platform itself.
“[Facebook] is at the early stages and we’re still learning how we engage and leverage it, but this hysteria that I’ve seen lately [about Facebook], I think it’s very short-termist and not thinking about the long term implications and the implications of engaging with people on that kind of platform.”
The real value in Facebook is that it's a channel to develop and energize Brand Advocates which, according to Tripodi, "has overtaken loyalty as the holy grail for brands.”
“I used to think that loyalty was at the top of the pyramid of classic marketing awareness model, but now it’s advocates. If you can turn people that love your brand from passive loyalists to advocates you create a type of network advantage that means your brand will stay relevant. We all know that losing relevance is the worst thing that can happen to your brand.”
How do you get these passive loyalists to become active Advocates?
Three words: Make it easy! Give Advocates online tools to share their enthusiasm whether it's writing reviews, creating testimonials, sharing offers and other content with their friends, answering prospects' questions, and more.
Here's how three top brands are staying relevant by turning loyalists into raving Brand Advocates:
- 24 Hour Fitness has energized their enthusiastic members to create over 8,490 reviews and share 54,600 offers with their social networks.
- Rubio’s has boosted CTR’s to a whopping 32% by giving Advocates offers to share on Facebook, Twitter, and via email.
- Box has identified a brand army of 69,400 Advocates via email, in-product notifications, Facebook, and their newsletter. For new press announcements and product launches, Box looks to their Advocates to add the halo effect and to get the social world chatting.
Beyond loyalty, Advocacy has become the ultimate goal for marketers. Gaining repeat customers is incredibly valuable, but that only really gets you to third base. In order to hit a grand slam, brands must mobilize their best customers to become a virtual marketing force (whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, third party review sites, etc) that will drive leads, sales, and positive Word of Mouth.