How to Select and Develop Crowdfunding Brand Advocates

Turn Devoted Fans into Powerful Marketers

crowdfunding brand advocateGoogle vs. Apple. Chevy vs. Ford. Coke vs. Pepsi. It’s safe to say we all know someone who is absolutely fanatical about a brand, and you may be one of them. Whether we get it from our parents or it’s an acquired personal preference, human beings are loyal creatures. In a way, it makes us who we are and we are proud to have an iPhone instead of a Droid and drive a Camaro SS instead of a Mustang GT.

We recently shared a blog about brand advocates and why you need them and today we will discuss tips for selection and development.  If you go to any of your company’s social media pages you can probably find a handful of people who constantly talk about you . You may also be surprised at their enthusiasm and think, “Wow, this person is perfect!” Hold the megaphone.

Before you choose the first three people who shared your last Tweet there are some guidelines you need to adhere to. Remember, brand advocates are going to be loosely affiliated with your company. No matter how loose the affiliation may be, their behavior will reflect on you good or bad.  You don’t want to jump to conclusions and end up regretting your hurried selections in the end.

Here are some tips on how to select and develop crowdfunding brand advocates:

Establish Recruiting Guidelines

One important fact you must understand is there is no application process to find a brand advocate. Also, a person cannot simply flip a switch and turn into one; their love for your product/company/service has to be genuine. You can create them through high quality products, great customer service and many other avenues. If you are a brand new company you may have to select and develop your brand advocate team from scratch. However, you may find a few people who are so enthusiastic they will be primed and ready to help you succeed.

For those with influencers already on social media, make a list and start to dig into their personal attributes. Joan Jones may share every single post you make, but on her personal page she argues about politics and religion all day. That is not something you want to attach your company to – PASS. Guy Smith may be knowledgeable of technology and tell everyone how ahead of the game your company is, but he has zero marketing skills and doesn’t know how to interact with questions and comments. Again, this could turn out to be bad for you – PASS. The best way to choose your brand advocates is to find a happy medium between sociability and product/industry knowledge. You will know it when you find it.

Provide Breaking News to Share

Once you’ve selected your brand advocates, an easy first assignment is to let them share some breaking news As fanatics of your brand they love to hear breaking updates on new products or company news, and now they will be able to be the ones revealing it to the world. Make sure you brief them on the subject and prepare them for any questions they might encounter. After that, let them post and see how everything goes. Odds are you will be pleasantly surprised and your brand advocates will find extreme joy and satisfaction in being the source of this fresh and exciting news.

Offer Tangible Perks

Who doesn’t like product samples? It’s safe to say if you’re approached with a new sample of something you like, you are going to try it. Brand advocates are the perfect people to send samples to because they will not only know the product better, they will be able to give their honest, personal opinions about it. Having access to samples before anyone else will also create an emotional bond and start to build a bubbling anticipation to tell the world. These samples will not only serve as rewards for true loyalty, they will be your first real taste of honest opinion.

Honor Your MVP’s

crowdfunding brand advocateMost sales staffs offer rewards for top performers and you should treat your brand advocates the same. If you notice one advocate has been stepping it up  lately you need to acknowledge their effort.  Always remember your connection is an ongoing relationship. You need to not only encourage effort, but reward it when it is exemplary. The types of rewards are up to you, but a safe bet would be something that is one-of-a-kind from your brand.

In Summary

If you’re completely new to the idea of brand advocates, it will take some learning to fully grasp how to select and develop these invaluable marketing tools. Lucky for you, the truCrowd team loves to research and share knowledge to help our future equity crowdfunding issuers achieve success.

In closing, we will share with you some insights from Alex Coley, Owner/Partner at Alex Coley Digital. He wrote a fantastic article on How to Build Brand Advocates in Social Media and we fully agree with his synopsis on how to encourage and retain your brand advocates. Enjoy!

How to balance the give and take:

  1. Give shoppers extra incentives to make repeat purchases
  2. Offer exclusive previews of products to make them feel ‘in the know’ and ‘first to try’
  3. Make it easy to share content through your chosen platforms
  4. Provide customer service through social channels and forums
  5. Recognize and give responsibility and/or accolades to your most trusted advocates
  6. Harness your employees, their advocacy is often correlated to that of customers

Here’s what you’re looking to achieve in return:

  1. Positive reviews which increase ratings and give your SEO a boost
  2. Real customer stories and experiences which boost your brand’s reputation
  3. Facebook comments and tweets that drive word of mouth
  4. Increased engagement with photos and videos
  5. FAQ support in your service channels
  6. Defence of your brand in the event of a crisis

Thank you for reading and please leave your questions and comments below!

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