The importance of using social to connect with your audience
Social media is often the first place customers go to rave or rage. It’s their closest, yet most indirect connection to the brand. In this blog, we’re going to focus on the brand advocates, or ‘fans’ – those that rave about your brand on social media.
It’s surprising how many brands we’ve worked with that haven’t activated their social media engagement to understand just how many fans they have. Often, it’s because brands are so wrapped up in creating content to reach their audiences, they don’t realize the treasure trove of fan-created content just waiting to be accessed.
Let’s identify why it’s so important to keep a pulse on your audience advocacy via social media.
There are multiple tools in the marketplace that give you visibility into your audience sentiment. Unless your brand already has a large social footprint, we don’t typically recommend buying into these platforms – yet.
- A sentiment analysis can be performed by just monitoring the tone of your existing engagement. For example:
- What are people currently messaging your brand’s page about?
- Is it positive?
- Are people commenting on your posts?
- Take a quick gauge of the tone and volume of your audience’s engagement. Having an understanding of your customer’s existing sentiment will help drive the type and cadence of your content going forward. It should also establish a clear plan for engagement.
Why Brand Advocates?
Social media has a unique ability to identify, at an individual level, who your brand advocates are. Brand fans are those who actively engage with your social profiles, handles and posts.
In some cases, a brand could have fans without them ever having purchased a product or service! These are still valuable voices that can spread positivity about your brand.
Why do brand advocates matter so much – especially on social media?
- Allow your fans to be heard. Social media is an amplification of your brand fans’ voices. It gives them an opportunity to share their opinions with all of their followers. Then, voila! You’re racking up the impression counts by doing no work at all! If their voice is loud and influential enough, they could even impact the purchase decisions of their connections, allowing your brand’s voice to web out over an audience you would have had to pay to reach otherwise.
- Content generation: Your brand advocates will generate valuable content for you! As social media trends become more organic, these raw and unfiltered testimonials on your brand are invaluable to help you reach look-alike audiences.
- Extended influence: A brand fan will influence their social circles through the content they share about your brand. Everytime a fan tags you in their content, that content is populating in their followers’ feeds. This is influence marketing on a micro scale. And usually, peer influence is more compelling than celebrity or macro influencer recommendations.
- Review gathering: Brand fans will often be the first to leave a review or testimonial on your products or services. In the same way that tagged social content reaches an organic audience, testimonials and reviews reach bottom-funnel traffic who are looking to be convinced for conversion.
Using your brand fan-produced content
Accessing your fan-created content is an evergreen process. It should naturally build on itself through ongoing conversation and engagement. The most important task is just getting started.
Here’s a good template to get started with accessing content from your brand fans!
- Search for your brand on social search bars. Check out the hashtags related to your brand or specific product/service lines. Even if fans haven’t tagged your profile, many brands will find they have an unknown following.
- When you find content related to your brand, engage with it. Thank them for buying your brand. Ask if you can use their post in your social feed. Let them tell you their story of how they became a brand fan.
- Share your fans’ love of your brand in your stories. This is a quick way to say thank you. They’ll most likely appreciate the exposure that your following will give their profile, too!
- If you receive permission to use their content for your profile, include it as user-generated content in your content calendar. Don’t forget to tag their profile when posting!
If you’d like more strategic social tips for your ecommerce business, why not contact us today for a free consultation?