After moderating a fantastic event "How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales" in NYC, I asked Abbey Klaassen, editor of AdAge, what she thinks the trick is to convert a passive fan into an active brand advocate. Someone who goes out of their way to tell everyone how wonderful your product is.
Klaassen said a great way to convert fans to advocates is to simply delight them in completely unexpected ways.
As an example, she told a great story of receiving a free burrito at a Chipolte restaurant. Klaassen had always been a customer and a passive fan of the chain of Mexican restaurants, but one day, out of the blue, she received this special unexpected treat. A free burrito!
It was an element of surprise and delight that took Klaassen off guard in a positive way. The net result is she came back to her office and told everyone about it. "I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but I like it," said Klaassen.