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BizReport : Social Marketing : October 10, 2013

How to better engage advocates

Shoppers aren't just making purchase decisions in store aisles, many are checking up on products and brands through social media, review sites and by questioning trusted friends. Many of these 'trusted' sources are online brand advocates. One expert explains how brands can better use advocates.

by Kristina Knight

Dick Beedon, Amplifinity CEO: Amplifinity is a Saas based brand advocacy platform that allows our clients to leverage their brand advocates - customers, employees and partners - to make referrals, write testimonials, and endorse messages and/or new products. At the most basic level, our technology creates a new sales channel for brands. Brand advocates, when asked, will drive customer acquisition and ROI at a fraction of the cost of other marketing efforts.

Kristina: Studies have shown that review sites and brands including reviews on their sites can improve conversion numbers. What is the draw to reviews?

Dick: It's not so much a draw to reviews as it is a draw to trustworthy sources of information. Study after study has shown that consumers trust the words of other consumers and people they trust over more traditional sources of information from a brand, like TV, Radio or Direct Mail.
Here's an example: I'm a consumer who happens to be considering the purchase of a pair of running shoes. On TV, the brand tells me if I buy their shoes I'm going to run faster, look way cooler, and might potentially place in the Boston Marathon. On a review site, on the other hand, my consumer compatriots tell me these shoes might look cool, but they are overpriced, far from comfortable and definitely not going to help me place in any marathon, much less the Boston Marathon. Do you think I am going to buy the shoes?
Even if I'm only trying to finish a mile, not a marathon, chances are good I'm not.

Kristina: In addition to reviews are the new Brand Advocates, social media users who tell friends about a brand. How important are advocates?

Dick: Brand advocates are the sales channel of the future. Every company has brand advocates, but the smart companies are leveraging those customers and soliciting their help in various ways to acquire customers and generate brand awareness. Brand advocates can do this more quickly, more transparently and more effectively than any other sales channel out there.

More from Dick and Amplifinity tomorrow, including how a customer becomes an advocate.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Amplifinity, brand advocate, social marketing, social marketing tips

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