Last week I attended the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's annual Summit in Las Vegas. The three day event featured social media marketing and word of mouth thought leaders as well as brand pioneers in the digital space. Topics ranged from social media measurement, content strategies, offline events, and customer engagement. One overarching theme throughout the conference was brand advocacy. As more brands become savvy in social media, it is crucial to develop strategies that empower your communities on these platforms. While there were lots of key takeaways from the Summit, here are three highlights:
- Having 1 million diehard fans is better than 54 million fans. Focus on the 1% of your community and empower your advocates to be the voice of your brand. Focus on the people who believe what your brand believes by building relationships with key influencers & constituents through shared interests. Transform your culture to create a kinder, braver world where everyone is valued. Lady Gaga's "Little Monsters" is a great example of one of the most loyal fan bases, which is especially evident on social media.
- Let's give them something to talk about. Everybody's talking on social media, so it's not surprising that the social conversation is infinitely revealing to brand value. Pete Blackshaw believes the three pillars of social success: listening, engaging and inspiring/transforming. How do you maximize this synergy? Nuture your advocates! Your customer should always be at the center of your strategy.
- "How do we go viral?" is the new "How do we get on Oprah?" Content is no longer text, it's a visual story. Content is king but it must be clever king. Plan ahead as much as possible but listen to your community. Content is about impressions, but it's also about expressions, which is often missed. Fuel and motivate your fans to create extraodinary content. We are living in the best time to be a consumer, and the most challenging time to be a marketer because of social media.
What are your thoughts on brand advocacy?