A fan is a consumer who likes your brand or product. Fans may be willing to join a group on Facebook. They may post something positive online about you on their blog or Tweet out news about your latest promotion or sale. Advocates, on the other hand, go out of their way to evangelize you. They champion you to their colleagues. They bring you new customers and prospects. (In many companies, Advocates generate 80 to 90 percent of qualified leads.) They eagerly answer prospects’ questions, defend you from critics, and give you profitable ideas that grow your business. And, unlike fans, Advocates evangelize you without asking for payment or perks.
Smart marketers are identifying and energizing their Advocates now.