Missed Opportunities: How to Turn Followers into Advocates

Social media has become a key method of engagement for organisations across all sectors. From selling products and services, to spreading awareness of worthy causes and encouraging people to sign up to events, digital platforms are crucial to a brand’s growing community. But in the same way that a fan can differ from a regular customer,  there’s a clear distinction between a follower and an advocate: one enjoys seeing what you do, and the other wants to be actively involved in it.

With social media users spending 20-40% more on companies that engage with them, here are some opportunities you may have missed when it comes to converting them into loyal customers.

Know your brand AND your audience

Fully understanding the mission and vision of your brand is essential to any business, so this is the very first thing that needs ticking off your list. After that, you need to define your audience so that all messages are suitable, relevant and designed to motivate further levels of engagement.

We know what you’re thinking – your brand is awesome so everyone is your target audience, but this is rarely the case. Factors that come into play are wide-ranging, such as the type of product or service you deliver, your location, your pricing structure, and of course the type of people you’d most like to attract. Whilst a solicitor may want to focus on SMEs within a twenty-mile radius, the owner of an Etsy shop that sells cat-themed gifts will benefit from an entirely different approach.

Be active, consistent and measured

When we say active, we don’t mean posting dozens of times a day. Some of the biggest brands only post content once or twice a day, yet their replies to enquiries and comments could be in the hundreds or even thousands each week.

You also need to appreciate that ongoing engagement is as important as initial attraction – so many brands have the wow factor that brings new followers in droves, yet failing to respond to their messages and interactions often leads to people swiftly unfollowing, or at the very least being deterred from striking up a conversation again.

Speed is also key, as having someone available to check channels throughout the day means more happy customers and, in turn, more sales. If you don’t have the time to do this, that’s what we’re here for.

Build a community based on trust, respect and appreciation

Your own content is amazing, your paid ads are perfectly targeted and your response time is faster than Speedy Gonzales, but that’s not where it ends. Brand advocates want to see what fellow customers have to say, ranging from retweeted testimonials and reshared images, to the opportunity to write guest blogs.

Keep your finger on the pulse of who’s talking about your brand by checking interactions and searching for your company name and any hashtags you’ve recently used, plus taking photos of visitors to your premises and competition winners is a guaranteed way of showing that you care about your customers (just make sure to get permission first).

Have fun with it

You can always tell a brand that enjoys sharing content from one that’s just going through the motions. Even professional sectors that traditionally seem a bit dry or corporate are now leading the way when it comes to celebrating charity work, volunteering schemes, community enhancement and social engagement. Simply search for an accountant, construction company or IT firm and you’re sure to find plenty of photos and videos that are about the people, not just the product.

Now have a think about any fun, positive and quirky things that have happened in your workplace recently – the bake sale for charity, a team lunch, fancy dress for Children in Need – and then think about whether or not you shared it online. If not, it’s time to start showcasing your brand’s character and passion just as much as your services.

Get in touch with Drunk Animal If all of this sounds a bit daunting or you simply don’t have the time, give us a call on 01482 363005 for a chat about how we’ll transform disinterested followers into hardcore advocates. Or seeing how we’re such social beings, you could start the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram