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BizReport : Advertising : November 08, 2012

3 types of brand advocates and why brands need them

A new infographic from Dachis Group sheds light on the hard-to-pin down brand advocate section of social marketing. While many brands are focused on getting high numbers of 'likes' on Facebook or followers on Pinterest or Twitter, studies show that have fewer 'followers' and more advocates - consumers who talk, share and review - for a brand can be more beneficial.

by Kristina Knight

That is because brand advocates join and begin conversations about brands and/or products, they post reviews and they share deals and coupons with their social networks. And, while the number of true advocates is small the reach is quite high.

Some interesting notes about brand advocates:

• Brand advocates make up about 1% of a brand's active social connections and 0.1% of the total social participants
• Brand advocates push up to 5% of a brand's social insights
• Brand advocates are responsible for about 8% of company signal 'echoes'
• Brand advocates begin about 8% of all brand-related discussions

The Dachis Group report identifies six types of brand advocates:

• The customer service 'rep' - these advocates are likely to tow the company line. They'll participate in discussions and support the brand
• Reputation Managers - these advocates will actively defend a brand to which they are attached. These advocates are especially important in times of 'crisis'
• The Licensed Informant may not share purchases or talk actively about the brand, but if a friend asks, they'll speak up
• The Marketing Partner is a set of advocates who actively begin conversations and may even offer suggestions to the brand based on what their friends are saying
• The Brand Activist actively begins conversations, re-tweets or shares social media posts and otherwise engages with the brand - and their friends - in the social space
• The Brand Ambassador is a type of advocate who engages with brands that somehow enhance their lives - a busy mom and her smartphone, for example. They engage with the brand and talk about the brand are part of their daily, life experience

So, now the types of advocates are identified. Brands, it's your turn. Look at your social media plan and find ways to engage these different types of advocates to increase your buzz.

Tags: brand advertising, brand advocates, Dachis Group

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