18 Advocacy Marketing Stats You Need To Know For 2018


It’s the time of the year where marketers from across the globe make their predictions for the new year. Never one to miss out on a good time, here’s our prediction:

2018 is the year of advocacy marketing.

In 2018, we’re going to see more brands fully embrace the power of advocates to help spread their marketing messages across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whatever crazy next-gen augmented reality social network is being cooked up. Don’t just take our word for it though, join us on this New Year’s journey as we share 18 advocacy marketing stats for 2018.


Why is 2018 the Year of Advocacy Marketing?

1. In 2017, Brands saw organic reach on Facebook dip to 1-2%. Instagram also saw a dip of 30% in organic reach in 2017.

Bottom line, your fans and followers are less likely (organically) to see any of the content you oh-so-meticulously produced and published to your social channels.

When brands hear this, they instinctively start reaching for the “Boost Post” button. However, …

2. The cost of digital advertising is rising 5x faster than inflation.
This includes Facebook and Instagram ads - and it’s only going to get more expensive as brands ramp up their spending to compete over the available ad inventory.

Plus, even if you have unlimited coffers to promote posts, you need to keep in mind:

3. Up to 30% of all internet users are using ad blockers. There’s also a rise in ad blindness among both millennials and Gen Xers.
Even if you spend the money to promote your content, it doesn’t mean your audience is going to see or, more importantly, engage with your paid messaging.

If your strategy in 2017 was to post your content to your social channels and expect your fans to see it (with maybe a $5 boosted post here and there to bolster it), you’re in for a rough 2018. Enter advocacy marketing.

4. The average social media user is connected to 400+ friends and family.
At SocialToaster, we find the actual number of connections are on average over 600+ friends, families and colleagues. This means that for every advocate you have sharing your content, that content has the potential to reach 600 individuals - not to mention the friends of those individuals.

10 advocates = A reach of 6,000

100 advocates = A reach of 60,000

1,000 advocates = A reach of 600,000

As your advocates grow in number, so too does your potential organic reach.

Pro Tip: As you scale your advocacy program, you also scale the time and energy it takes to manage your advocacy program. That’s why many brands choose to manage their advocacy marketing program through an advocacy marketing platform (like SocialToaster).

Whether your program has 1,00 or 10,000 advocates, you can use an advocacy marketing platform to share your content with all of them through a single email. You can also automatically reward your advocates for sharing your content to their social channels.

Once your advocates start sharing your content to their social networks, that’s where the real magic begins.


The Power of Advocacy Marketing

5. 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, making it one of the most trust-rich forms of advertising.

6. 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands.

7. Earned media (press, word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer referrals) drives 4x the brand lift as paid media.

When your advocates share your content to their social channels, they are giving your content their personal endorsement. Even more important than trusting the messaging, content shared by your advocates are more likely to be seen.

8. In fact, people pay over 2x more attention to posts and recommendations from their friends.

If your content mix includes user-generated content, advocate shared content provides even more of a lift in visibility.

9. UGC-shared posts have a 28% higher engagement rate compared to standard posts. They are also 2x as likely to be shared.

All that earned trust and post engagement has a direct impact on sales and revenue.

10. 82% of consumers proactively seek referrals from peers before making a purchasing decision.

11. Peer-to-peer marketing is the leading driver behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.

12. 28% of millennials say they won't try a product if their friends don't approve of it.

13. When a friend or family makes a recommendation, it is 50x more likely to trigger a purchase.

14. 67% of consumers surveyed say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds.

15. Online businesses get 60% of their sales thanks to referrals from advocates and brand Superfans.

It’s not just B2C consumer advocacy programs that see a lift in revenue either. Employee advocacy programs for B2B companies also generate a noticeable gain in performance.

16. Employee advocacy results in a 5x increase in web traffic and 25% more leads.


ROI for Days

Advocacy marketing is in it of itself a powerful marketing channel, but when you combine it as part of macro strategy, it’s pure rocket fuel.

17. Word-of-mouth (advocacy) marketing has been shown to increase marketing effectiveness by as much as 54%.

Which leads us to the number-one, grand-pappy stat of them all.

18. On average, brands generate a 650% ROI for every dollar invested in influencer and advocacy marketing.


As organic social and paid advertising continue to lose effectiveness in 2018, brands need to look to other channels to communicate their marketing messages. For 2018, that channel for a lot of brands is going to be advocacy marketing.

Ready to start your advocacy marketing program? Schedule a demo with SocialToaster and learn how our platform can help you launch and maintain your advocacy program!