brand advocate research

eMarketer: Brand Advocacy Becoming Critical Part of Social Media Marketing Mix

Industry experts and social media influencers who have thousands of blog subscribers or Twitter followers may seem attractive to marketers. However, many companies have an untapped digital gold mine: their most satisfied customers AKA Brand Advocates. Advocates are defined by their genuine enthusiasm for brands versus the measure of their social following (which could indeed be large as well). By leveraging their authentic passion, brands can amplify positive Word of Mouth, increase engagement, and drive leads and sales. eMarketer just published an article and report, “Brand Advocates Scaling Social Media Word of Mouth” which highlights key characteristics and motivations of Brand Advocates including research from a recent Zuberance brand advocacy study.

Here are some of the key characteristics of Brand Advocates from the report:

Brand Advocates recommend products and services, and do so frequently.

Brand Advocates educate other consumers.

Brand Advocates want to share their positive brand experiences to help others (vs getting rewards or discounts)

Brand Advocates are influenced by social media.

It's clear that Brand Advocates are an influential and powerful marketing force. While creating a brand advocacy strategy, marketers need to ask themselves one question: What do you want your Advocates to do for you? Check out 7 ways to leverage your Brand Advocates here.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Webinar Recording: Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates

Check out the recording of our recent webinar where we revealed new research, "Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates" featuring Founder/CEO of Zuberance, Rob Fuggetta.

View more videos from Zuberance

3 Surprising Findings About Brand Advocates:

1. Brand Advocates are more active than previously thought

  • Advocates recommend 9 brands on average
  • 32% recommend 10 or more brands
  • 16% recommend more than 15 brands
  • Advocates recommend on average 26X per year
  • 30% recommend once weekly or more
  • Brand Advocates are active in many industries. The categories most recommended are Technology (25%), Restaurants/Dining (15%), and Entertainment/Leisure (14%).

2. Brand Advocates have larger social networks than earlier estimated

  • Brand Advocates have 200-450 people in their social networks.
  • Online Brand Advocates have 300-600 people in their social networks.

3. Brand Advocates recommend both consumer and business products

  • 67% advocate both business and consumer products.

Other Findings

  • “Power Advocates” make up about 15% of Brand Advocates. They recommend dozens of products, do so several times a week, and have 500+ people in their social networks.
  • 83% of Advocates say their recommendations impact purchase decisions of their friends- 61% say their friends consider buying the recommended product and 22% say their friends actually purchase the recommended product.
  • Email (at 57%) and Facebook (at 35%) are the most used online tools for recommending.
  • Altruism, not rewards, spur Advocates. 50% say they recommend because they’ve had good experiences with a product/service. 37% say they recommend because they want to help others.

3 Implications for Marketers

  1. Find and energize Brand Advocates now to drive advocacy and sales.
  2. B2B Marketers need to engage and energize Brand Advocates.
  3. Don’t pay or provide financial incentives to Brand Advocates.

Download the full report on "Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates" now.

All the findings are also outlined in Infographic form here.