Marketers are starting to realize that Brand Advocates are important enough to be part of our marketing strategies… but in my view, we need to take this beyond our Advocates just being “a part” of what we do. We need to value our Advocates enough to promote them – in both meanings of the word: to bring visibility to, and to raise up.
1. We need to help our Advocates be heard.
We need to get the word out about the value our Advocates add to our brand/ product/ service. Advocates want – and deserve -- to be recognized, so you should be their microphone: re-tweet their comments, post their insights on your websites, share their brightest ideas throughout your social networks and make sure to give them credit for all of their work.
As diligent as you are at making sure your Advocates hear you … that is how diligent you need to be about making sure your Advocates are heard by others.
2. We need to place our Brand Advocates in a position higher than the one they currently hold in our companies.
Are you treating your Advocates like prized members of your team? You should be... because they are! Give them and their role a "promotion" in your marketing team so your team places even more value on their role. More than an actual position promotion, this is a paradigm shift. Advocates should be viewed internally as co-leads, with their opinions and insights informing and even directing innovation for your brand.
Promoting our Brand Advocates requires a willingness to give back to them in response to all they do for us. This give-give cycle is the new marketing, so we need to allocate resources to building relationships with the people who believe in our brand and want to share it with their networks.
In your next marketing team meeting, ask each other about your Brand Advocates: How do you position them? Is it time for a promotion?
-Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategist