Archive for the ‘brand advocates’ tag
One of the strongest forms of recommendation is still good old fashioned word of mouth, and the best way to cultivate that is to establish and strengthen relationships with your fans, followers, and brand advocates. The trouble is that they don’t usually take the time to message you announcing that they are going to recommend you to everyone now, so it’s up to you to pay attention to everyone discussing your brand— and that can be overwhelming.
The good news is, we’re here to help! And if you pay attention to the full conversation around your brand, it’s easy to pick out and identify the fans and followers who are acting as your brand advocates, as well as influencers in your industry that you want to keep an eye on and engage in conversation when appropriate. Let us show you how.
There are many different monitoring tools to choose from on Twitter, but we will admit to being wildly biased and preferring the ones we’ve built: Free and paid, full snapshot reports ($20) and our comprehensive tracking with TweetReach Pro Trackers (available at a variety of price points). Now the following is what you can do with them.
There are several different ways to find influencers around a particular topic with a snapshot report:
- Run a free snapshot report and check out the top contributors to the conversation, be it about a topic keyword, hashtag, or account. It’s that easy.
- Run a full report around that same topic keyword, hashtag, or account to get a fuller picture of that conversation and consequently, the top contributors.
- Run two reports around an event using a keyword topic or hashtag and compare them. Here’s an example from the #CometLanding.
With TweetReach Pro Trackers, you can look in several places to see who influencers are around a particular keyword topic or hashtag, and who your brand advocates might be if they keyword topic has to do with your brand, or it’s a Tracker around your Twitter account. Look at:
- Contributors: Test different time frames to see if the same people are always at the top of the list.
- Most Retweeted: Do the same people always talk about you and get retweeted by their followers more than anyone else who follows you? Congratulations, you have just identified a brand advocate!
- Top URLs: Does someone tweet about your blog posts and share them frequently? That might show up here.
Again you have a choice of metrics providers, and again we are biased when we suggest our own tools (be sure you’re asking the right questions while you’re shopping). We understand not everyone has a lot of resources, however, and are happy to be able to offer you a free option in our Instagram account checkup and more comprehensive tracking options with our Instagram analytics.
Now here’s how you can find those who are already supporting you on Instagram.
Above: An example of our Instagram analytics dashboard.
With our free account checkup, the Top Fans section makes it easy: These are your three biggest fans who have engaged with your content the most over the last 30 days. Be sure you’re at the very least following them back, and reciprocate the engagement with their posts where appropriate. Keep an eye on total fans too, because someone might be lurking just out of the top three who is an important fan and potential brand advocate.
With our premium Instagram analytics, you can set up a hashtag tracker or an account tracker. With a hashtag tracker you’ll want to pay attention to the top publishers as well as the publisher summary. Are any of these people also in the top ten posts? If you narrow the tracker down to different time frames, are the same people always in top publishers? That’s who you want to pay attention to.
Account trackers are similar; pay attention to top participants and the participant summary in the same way described above. Clicking through to see participant details will tell you more about that particular follower, and whether or not it would be appropriate to engage with them. (When it wouldn’t be: They’re a minor using social, they’re a spam account, etc. Use your discretion for what’s appropriate for your brand.)
Tumblr does give you built-in analytics, and much like those that Twitter gives you, using ours alongside them compliments what you can learn about your audience while taking your knowledge deeper in certain aspects.
Our Tumblr analytics offer both topic tracking and blog tracking. With topic tracking you want to look at popular contributors as well as top curators, to see who is contributing to a certain conversation the most. If someone who appears in either of those two sections also appears in the top ten most popular posts, then that’s someone you really want to follow and pay attention to at the very least, and consider a deeper relationship with- brand advocate, short-term collaboration partner etc- if that makes sense.
With blog trackers, you want to look at the top curators. These are the people who are consistently liking and reblogging your content. Are they adding commentary when they do? Is it praise, constructive criticism? Engage them in a dialogue about it if it’s appropriate.
The bottom line
Enthusiastic fans will be discussing your brand whether you’re there to listen or not, but many stop once they realize no one is paying attention. Brand advocates are built from nurtured relationships. Take the time to find them and connect in a way that’s appropriate and mutually beneficial.
Still have questions? Ask ‘em in the comments. Don’t be shy.
It may only be September, but the holidays are quickly approaching (the first holiday ad of the season has already aired!). If you work in retail, e-commerce, travel or any of the myriad industries that get busy this time of year, it’s time to be thinking about your fall and holiday social media campaigns.
In particular, understanding who your fans and customers are – and establishing specific strategies for communicating with them through social media – can help you maximize the results of these campaigns. Who are you talking to on social channels? How can you find out who they are? And how you can more effectively reach and help them? Here are a few steps to help guide the way.
1. Plan before you begin.
Plan different messages to reach out to your audience at different points in the purchase cycle: You want to get their attention in order to attract them to buy, then keep it afterward so they aren’t just a customer, but poised to become an advocate.
How do I this? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes: when was a time a company communicated with you in a way that made you a repeat customer? What made you recommend them to someone else? Use that perspective to build your communication. Remember that communication is a two-way thing; social media in particular shouldn’t be used as a megaphone from which to shout your marketing messages. You’ll do much better by talking, listening, and responding. (More on the how for that in the next section.)
2. Anticipate needs.
What can you do for your customers? What has worked in the past? If you haven’t already taken a comprehensive look at what was successful and was not successful in past campaigns and planned based on both of those factors, you need to do that now.
How do I do this? There are several options for the how: If you have the data somewhere you can get to it and the time to go through it yourself, do so. If you don’t have the data, consider something like our historical reports to get it. Send a survey to targeted groups. Ask them on your social networks. Listen to what customers and potential customers are already saying: set up alerts for key terms associated with your brand and products. Try a combination of Google Alerts, Mention, or columns in something like TweetDeck (see more free tool suggestions from Social Media Examiner) and running something like a TweetReach snapshot report to capture a portion of the conversation. Listen to what it is that your customers want from you.
3. Tailor your message.
Tailor your message for each platform you’re on. Blasting out the exact same message to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr followed by a longer version on your blog is just going to cause potential customers to tune you out. Pull out a different, salient tidbit to feature in each place.
How do I do this? Think about what approach works best in each place too: short, pithy messages do well on Twitter, with links to more information. Images perform well on Tumblr and Pinterest; images and excerpts do well on Facebook. Link everything back to your blog or website, where you should have a landing page with details about your campaign. Stagger your messages (Try out scheduling on platforms like TweetDeck, learn how to schedule posts on Facebook, or look into a tool like Buffer). If you haven’t already looked at which times of day produce the best results, experiment during this campaign and track it all so you can plan it better next time.
You also want to tailor how you’re talking to customers and potential customers at each point in the purchase cycle. As you search for and find brand mentions- as discussed in the previous section- pay attention to what kind they are. Is someone asking for a recommendation in a certain area and listing out possibilities, one of which is you? Did someone else recommend you to someone who asked for a recommendation? Don’t respond to every mention of your brand if it’s high volume, but do thank people who have recommended you, and answer questions from potential or new customers asking about things like how your product works. If they express a preference for another brand, don’t try to prove that yours is better. Wish them luck with their purchase. If you always err on the side of polite and respectful, your brand will become known for it and could be recommended in the future because of it.
And those people recommending you? Those are your brand advocates. Another reason to say thank you– and to pay attention to what space they’re influential in. Follow them if you don’t already. Engage in conversations where it’s appropriate. Don’t stalk them; engage them.
4. Provide support.
Be ready to take questions- plan answers and make sure staff knows features upside down and backwards- and have a policy in place about how soon you’ll respond to customer queries. Research shows that 42% of customers who have reached out to a company about a problem on social media expect a response within an hour. This doesn’t change much for nights and weekends either.
How do I do this? The research doesn’t qualify if this is for big brand companies, or holds the same for smaller folks who have fewer resources and staff, but the reality of it remains the same: if you really want your campaign to go off well, you’ve got to put in the work and time. If you’re small and taking care of support yourself, draw boundaries (you’ll take time for dinner at night, the phone goes off while you’re asleep etc) but for the rest of the day the technology exists to be alerted when someone contacts you and for you to respond promptly. If you commit to that level of support during your campaign, you might just do well enough to hire someone else to help you with it the next time around.
How do I respond? If you don’t already, have an FAQ page set up that you can direct common queries to. If you do have one, take some time to go over it and revise it if necessary. If it’s campaign-specific, direct them to the landing page for it. Have a support email address ready to give out when lengthy or difficult queries pop up on social media.
More support. Follow-up. Engage. You’ve established that you’re there for your customers with a high level of support, so don’t drop the ball on that now. In addition to responding to any problems customers have down the line from their purchase, maintain a social presence that will engage them.
How do I do this? There are many different ways to accomplish these things: Follow up with anyone who’s had a problem to be sure they’re still happy; they’ll be impressed that you did. It’s as simple as sending a quick tweet their way. Reward customer loyalty; if you know someone made their 5th or 10th purchase during your campaign, send them a little thank-you gift. One Kings Lane sends customers Thank You stationery with their first purchase, as a way of saying thank you for being a customer and letting the customer send out thank yous of their own. Birchbox sends customers who are with them for a year a small branded gift in the mail, such as a leather keychain. Do whatever makes sense for your brand. Just a thank you message alone can mean a lot if done in sincerity. This kind of behavior turns customers into brand advocates.
As for ongoing customer engagement, ask yourself this when you’re planning content: is it interesting? Does it address a question or problem customers have; is it useful? Is it entertaining? If your content doesn’t fit one or more of these categories, consider revising it. If you’re bored while you’re working on it, nobody is going to want to read it– let alone share it and champion you to their network. (This is similar to the content strategy Chris Penn of SHIFT discussed in our TakeFive with him.)
And if someone is sharing your content? Say thank you. Is someone publicly thanking you for excellent customer service? Say thank you again. Favorite the tweet. Simply paying attention to what customers are saying and letting them know that you appreciate it can mean a lot, and makes a difference in having you come to mind before a competitor when they’re asked to recommend a company.