Social media users share roughly 1 billion food-related posts every second on social media. Okay, maybe it’s not that many, but c’mon we all know there are a lot of them. From envy-inducing #brunch posts to recipes and photo documentation of #PinterestFail baking attempts, food and social media are the perfect pairing. People are passionate about their food and beverage brands. This passion turns into advocacy once social media users start sharing their favorite recipes, dishes, and preferred brands. By tapping into this passion and activating multiple advocates at the same time through an advocacy marketing program, food and beverage brands can get their branded content in front of more customers without having to dedicate a promotional budget. But how do you make sure you recruit high-quality advocates?
Advocacy Marketing: Engaging Food & Bev Consumers
Across all industries, marketers are increasing their influencer and advocate campaign efforts. Sixty-seven percent of marketers credit influencer and advocate marketing campaigns with helping them engage with their target demographic.
On top of that, 39% of marketers say they will increase influencer marketing budgets in 2018. Not only does an advocacy marketing campaign help increase a brand’s visibility; it also helps drive sales. Recommendations from a friend or family member are 50x more likely to trigger a purchase. For food and beverage brands, this translates into million-dollar opportunities.
Recruiting High-Quality Advocates Into Your Food & Beverage Advocacy Marketing Program
Here’s how to create an advocacy marketing program that naturally attracts the crème-de-la-crème of your fan base:
1) Start With An Understanding Of What “High-Quality” Means
“High-Quality” is a bit of a nebulous term. What’s high-quality to some people is medium-quality to others. And vice-versa. To help start the definition process, we’ve put together the below profile of a high-quality advocate.
A high-quality advocate is someone that:
- Is more socially active (both on social media and in real life) – they forge connections and bring value to those connections
- Loves to populate their social channels with content they think their audience will find interesting
- Designs their social image to foster a level of higher status within their social network
- Has a social network connection of 400+
- Is motivated to share based on growing their influence within their network
- Shares 40%+ of the content asked to share (each fan has their own filter for what is valuable to their network)
2) Building a Program That Attracts Quality
With a better understanding of who these high-quality Superfans are, it’s time to build a program that appeals to a high-quality advocate.
To get the most out of your fanbase, and encourage new quality fans to join, great effort needs to be put into ensuring the content being shared is top notch. Be sure to include a mix of well-produced videos, interesting images, and strong stories that your advocates can’t wait to share. The higher the content quality, the higher the quality of fan it attracts.
When structuring your program, you’ll have several options for how you choose to reward your advocates (contests, sweepstakes, etc.) Our recommendation is to always opt for a contest or a random drawing over rewarding your top point earners. High-quality advocates appreciate a contest structure that gives values to all actions, not a contest that simply awards whoever makes the most noise.
Your high-quality advocates want to feel that they are part of something special, and rewarding their sharing behavior with unique prizing (for example a VIP experience that an average customer isn’t privy to) helps strengthen the bond between your customers and brand.
Pro Tip: As your advocacy marketing program develops, you’ll need to continually tailor your program to match the evolving needs of your high-quality advocates. Remember, like always attracts like; the more high-quality Superfans you have in your program, the more you’re going to attract. SocialToaster makes it easy to get to know your high-quality Superfans through our integrated Survey and Quiz features. These features allow you to design and build profiling surveys within your advocacy marketing campaign (instead of having to use a third-party system), allowing you to get a more robust understanding of your top advocates.
3 Places to Recruit High-Quality Superfans
With your high-quality program in place, it’s time to go searching for your Tier 1 advocates.
1) Recruit Within Your Other Engaged Social Audiences
From Facebook to Instagram, the first place to start in your quest for your A+ advocates is within your own social audiences. Be sure to regularly post recruitment messages about your program. A single post on a random Tuesday isn’t going to cut it. Be sure to share regular updates about the program that announce program milestones like:
- The start of a new rewards period
- Membership milestones
- Advocate spotlights
- Unique members-only insights
Use these posts to build intrigue about your program and encourage your fanbase to take the next step in becoming brand advocates.
2) Recruit Your Customers
Have an email list or list of repeat purchasers? Don’t limit your program announcements to only your social channels – be sure you’re also hitting these high-value audiences! As a best practice, be sure any recruitment message you send them to them addresses the ultimate fan question: “Why?”
Focus on communicating the benefits the advocate will receive by joining the program, such as:
- VIP content
- Fresh, new recipes
- Discount codes for in-store or online purchases
3) Promote to The Right Audiences
All successful advocacy marketing campaigns have a bit of budget set aside specifically for recruiting people into the program. While blasting a message across Facebook is one way to get people into the program, it’s not always the most cost-efficient. We recommend that brands start their paid recruitment efforts by creating specific custom audiences built from both on-site and social engagement behavior.
By targeting the people that are already liking and sharing your content, or those that visit your website multiple times in a month, you’re more likely to get your message in front of someone that’s excited to join your program.
Recruit Advocates The SocialToaster Way
High-quality fans are attracted to a high-quality program. The more effort you invest in your program, the greater the opportunity to attract advocates with social connections of 1,000 or more! The more high-quality fans you attract into your program, the greater your program reach. The greater the reach, the higher your program’s earned media value and overall ROI.
Want to learn more about how to build an advocacy marketing program for your food and beverage brand? Our advocacy specialists can help – call us at 855.62.TOAST, send us an email, or request a free demo today!