From Customer to Brand Advocate: How to Generate Brand Loyalty


Gone are the days of the hot-shot, slick salesman strategy. In the current marketing climate, consumers are beginning to ignore blatant advertisements and have turned instead to social communities for product and business reviews. With this in mind, social CRM tools have been widely adopted by companies, but the problem still exists with how exactly a company makes use of this information and data generated by these tools.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is very influential and must be prioritised within a companyís marketing campaign, as purchasing decisions are increasingly based on customer reviews and online recommendations. According to BrightLocalís 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey, 88% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a local business and 72% said that positive online reviews made them trust a local business more.

With such a large percentage of consumers placing a high value on online reviews, it is imperative for a business to carefully manage their online reputation. One of the difficult aspects of this, however, is that people are more likely to share negative reviews (50%) over positive reviews (30%). Moreover, the BrightLocal survey also discovered that 85% of people reading reviews are reading between 6-10 reviews before purchasing. This means that companies not only have to manage their brand reputation online by ensuring that good reviews are present, but they also need to make sure that the latest 10 reviews are positive, since those will be what the target demographic will be reading. This requires effort on the companyís part to continuously generate new positive reviews which are authentic and trustworthy.

Consumer vs. Brand Advocate

When all is said and done, brand advocates are really the principle for increasing brand loyalty. As stated above, consumer feedback can greatly impact a companyís brand image and revenue, as a business is far more likely to attract new customers through positive consumer feedback.

So how does a consumer become a brand advocate? Brand advocacy begins with a like or a share on a social media. When the customer experience is positive and customer satisfaction levels are high, there is a higher probability that they will write a review or like and share a companyís page and posts. In turn, page shares from within a companyís social network to an individualís social network increases the social reach of that company. Put simply, brand advocates will help increase web visibility, marketing reach, and ultimately revenue.

However, a happy customer is not necessarily an advocate since a customer can easily purchase or use a companyís services and never end up referring the company through social avenues. Turning a customer into an advocate, then, requires more than a single positive experience; it requires incentive to become a repeat patron and a continued history of positive experiences. For further tips on how to generate meaningful customer experiences click here.

Ultimately your marketing strategy must begin with evaluating customer satisfaction levels, and then adapting personalised target strategies to meet the needs of each individual response group.

Social Strategy

With the growing population of social media users, monitoring and analysing social media users have become though nowadays. In order to monitor customer satisfaction levels, you do need to employ a social CRM tool, and something like the social media monitoring tool is both highly efficient and useful. A good social CRM tool integrates comments and feedback from all social media platforms and digital channels into one organised location. This allows companies to keep comments orderly and to respond to them quickly and efficiently. The tool should also utilise analytics software to evaluate how each social platform is performing and to syphon social activity into applicable categories.

With all of the feedback being collected into one place, the company can then devise targeted strategies. For the negative feedback, the company can contrive strategies to win back dissatisfied customers and can inform them on improvements that meet their expressed needs and concerns. Disengaged groups can be targeted with information and incentives, like deals, and advocates can be rewarded with loyalty programmes and benefits. Generating brand loyalty, then, requires personalised and targeted marketing strategies that respond to customer satisfaction levels and address each groupís diverse needs and concerns.

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