Fan Advocacy 101

An emerging trend in the marketplace is a shift from concentrating on the number of social media fans and followers to a focus on the quality of the fans and followers.   Brands are seeing that activating their best fans to share content or endorse a product can result in increased views of content and purchases by consumers seeing those messages shared by their friends.  Frequently we hear from our clients and agency partners they are not sure how to launch a fan advocacy campaign and they are unsure how to identify and manage these fans.

The good news is that creating a fan advocacy campaign is relatively simple.  To get started we recommend the following steps:

Create a Super Fan Program: start a Superfan program by deciding the type of fan you are targeting, the type of content interesting to those Superfans and also the incentives the fans will earn.  You will also need to decide what tools you will utilize to manage the campaign and creating a site to host the content and activities.

Announce a SuperFan program to your existing fans:  Your brand already has loyal fans whether they are employees or your best customers.  Send an invite through e mail, Facebook, Twitter and your other social media channels asking them to join your fan advocacy program.

Publish Content and Challenges: Begin with your existing content calendar and identify 1 to 2 pieces a week that are most valuable and provide those pieces of content to the Superfans to share to their social networks.  Also provide 1 to 2 challenges a month asking them to perform specific actions or to submit user generated content.

Go Viral: our experience shows that messages shared friend to friend outperform messages shared directly by a brand or through an advertisement.  The challenge is that most fans will view content but will rarely share the content to their friends and followers.   To get your Superfans to share it is not only critical that the content be quality but also make sure the call to action is clear and simple.  The Superfans want to help but they have to be asked and be asked every time.

Employ Gamification: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Your Superfans are willing to help but they also appreciate being recognized for their efforts.   We believe creating fun and simple contests for fans to support your marketing campaigns can increase performance and also loyalty with these valuable customers or employees.

Recruit: Every brand would like to increase their fan base and customers.  Our experience shows that brands can increase their community of advocates by having the existing members ask their friends and followers to join.  We recommend making it a contest and provide additional prizing for the members that recruit the most new participants to the community.

Analyze: Pay attention to what campaigns, challenges/contests and Superfans are performing the best.  Some key analytics to focus on can include: post share rates, engagement, mentions, impressions, and your Superfan’s reach. Many times the data does not lie and can help determine what to focus on in the future.

Why SuperFans?

According to a Nielsen study, 92% of consumers trust word of mouth or personal recommendations over all other forms of advertising. When SuperFans share posts, they are essentially recommending a brand’s content to their friends on their social networks, meaning their friends are more likely to view them than traditional advertisements. Your client’s SuperFans become their best brand advocates!

Already working on social media and are interested in a fan advocacy campaign?  Feel free to reach out to a SocialToaster strategist to answer your questions 85562TOAST or request a demo of SocialToaster today!

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